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Last Updated: Wednesday, 21 December 2005, 18:13 GMT
Council chief withdraws objection
The sea wall is part of a 2km scheme to protect the resort
Scarborough's chief executive has said he no longer objects to a report on the town's controversial sea defence contract being made public.

The Penn report looked at who knew what when the council illegally awarded a consultancy contract for the sea wall.

Based on its findings an investigative panel resolved to move to the next stage of a disciplinary procedure.

John Trebble offered to retire, asking for the report never to be made public. Now he says it is up to the council.

The one-metre-high concrete sea wall was finished earlier this year as part of a two-kilometre scheme designed to protect the resort.

It cost more than 53m - almost 30m more than first expected - but faults have already been detected.

The independent Penn report was commissioned after the Audit Commission found a consultancy contract had been awarded illegally as it was not advertised in Europe.

I no longer have any objection to the Penn report being published
Chief Executive John Trebble
The commission also claimed the council had written a bogus report to justify its actions, a claim the council denied.

Mr Trebble said the aftermath of the Audit Commission's report was a major factor in his decision to take early retirement on Friday, but denied any wrongdoing.

He said he was confident he would have been cleared of any allegations if the case had gone to an independent hearing, but felt that such a time-consuming and potentially costly process would benefit no-one.

"My action in applying for early retirement in no way suggests that I accept any allegations which may be made against me in connection with the sea defence contracts," he said.

"So far as I am concerned, I no longer have any objection to the Penn report being published, but ultimately that must be a matter for the council to decide."

A spokesman for Scarborough Council said its position was unchanged.

"We will not be publishing the Penn report," she said.

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