By Phil McCann
Cheshire Political Reporter, BBC News

image copyrightGoogle

image captionThe details of the Cheshire East Council investigation have never been revealed,

Cheshire East Council’s most senior financial executive received more than £91,000 in the week he left the authority, new accounts show.

Peter Bates, who denied wrongdoing, was suspended as part of a disciplinary investigation

when he resigned in 2019.

Council leader Sam Corcoran said changes had been made after historical “large payoffs”.

Neither the council nor Mr Bates provided the BBC with a comment on his payment.

Mr Bates received £56,452 as a “salary, fee, allowance or bonus” covering the period between 1 April 2019 and 8 April when he left the authority.

In addition, he also received a £35,016 payment as “compensation for loss of employment”.

‘Neutral suspension’

Cheshire East Council had previously refused to disclose the details, but they have been revealed in the authority’s accounts for the financial year 2019-2020, which have just been published.

Mr Bates was suspended, along with the council’s former chief executive and former top lawyer, as part of an investigation into their conduct which began in April 2017.

The council stated at the time that the suspensions were a “neutral act”.

The details of the investigation have never been revealed, but the BBC understands part of it focussed on the way the council awarded some contracts.

The investigation into each of the three men ended, with no conclusion, when they each left the authority.

Mr Corcoran, who was not in power when Mr Bates left, added that “since May 2019, two senior staff have left the council, both left without a severance payment”.

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