Resignation over council’s £800k NCP dispute gag

Councillor Tom Wye
Councillor Tom Wye
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A SENIOR councillor has resigned over a gagging order placed upon Worthing Borough Council members to prevent them revealing that a dispute with NCP has cost taxpayers around £800,000.

Marine ward councillor of 11 years and cabinet member Tom Wye resigned on Wednesday morning on ‘principle’.

His decision comes after the council and NCP reached an out of court settlement over its 10-year contract , due to end on April 1.

It is understood one of the primary issues was a deed of variation on the contract, intended to run for 12 months, appeared not have an end date.

Mr Wye said the settlement reached this week – believed to be £700,000 plus £100,000 legal fees – was in the public demain – despite the gagging order placed on all councillors.

He said: “The money belongs to the taxpayer, I believe the public should know where it is being spent.

“It is a great pity but I don’t think I had any option. I said if there was a gagging order, I would go.

“I am a very simple man and what I say is what I do. It is a point of principle.”

The council and NCP released a joint statement on the issue on Monday, stating it would be keeping the figure confidential.

For the full story, see the Herald, out Thursday, February 27.