Page last updated at 10:18 GMT, Thursday, 4 February 2010

Troubled Doncaster Council's chief staying in post

Doncaster Council
An extraordinary meeting took place to discuss Mr Leader's appointment

Doncaster Council has decided to keep the authority's interim chief executive in his post after a row over his appointment.

The council voted last month to appoint Tim Leader to replace Paul Hart who had resigned for personal reasons.

But mayor Peter Davies then wrote to Mr Leader, claiming his appointment was legally flawed and urging him to quit.

However, councillors dismissed this argument during heated exchanges at an extraordinary meeting.

Councillor Mick James said: "The objections that were raised have been gone through, discussed, considered and set to one side.

"In the finality, we took the vote to confirm that Tim Leader is in the acting chief executive's position."

A Doncaster Council spokeswoman said: "Following yesterday's extraordinary meeting of the council, members voted to approve Tim Leader as interim chief executive with immediate effect."

The leadership crisis comes after the council was criticised over attacks by two brothers in Edlington.

The boys, aged 11 and 12, were given indeterminate sentences last month for torturing two other boys, aged nine and 11, in the South Yorkshire village last April.

'Unjustified demand'

A serious case review found the attacks had been "preventable".

The council's children's services department is now being run by the government after the deaths of seven children in the town between 2004 and 2008.

The controversy over the appointment of Mr Leader as interim chief executive was made public when a letter from Mr Leader to Mr Davies was seen by BBC News.

It revealed the mayor told him he had consulted lawyers and believed his appointment was "legally flawed".

Mr Leader responded that he would be happy to discuss the difficulties that had arisen but would not be forced from his post by an "unfair and wholly unjustified demand" for his resignation.

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