Carlisle City Council says no formal arrangements have been put in place to share its chief executive with Eden — though informal discussions have taken place.
The announcement comes after Conservative councillors on Eden proposed a vote of no confidence in the authority’s leader Virginia Taylor, who they claim “drove a horse and cart through the council’s constitution” over the departure of chief executive Rose Rouse.
They say she acting beyond her authority in “intervening to secure Mrs Rouses departure” and made arrangements for the authority to instead share a chief executive with Carlisle City Council, which is headed by Jason Gooding.
Ms Taylor refused to either confirm or deny this when contacted by the Herald.
However, Carlisle City Council has since issued a statement saying: “Although informal discussions have taken place, no formal arrangements have been made or have been agreed by either council.”
The Conservative group claimed Carlisle city councillors were informed last week that the two authorities would be sharing a chief executive.
Leader of the Conservative group on Eden Council, Debra Wicks, said: “The processes for dealing with the departure of a council chief executive officer and their replacement are clearly defined in law and in the constitution of Eden District Council.
“Eden Conservative group are aware that none of these processes have been followed and as a result the council could be vulnerable to a challenge that due process was not followed and as a result the decisions are invalid.
“This could have significant financial implications for the council.”
The Conservative group has added that there are other options for people to step in to the vacated role and have been in discussions with a retired former council officer, who they say would be willing to return.