Letters extra : Who vets who?

7th November 2003 at 00:00
As a council tax payer, I'm rather concernednbsp;to hear the top, soon-to-be-retiring, local government officer in this county - West Sussex County Council's Chief Executive and Board Chairman Paul Rigg - say (" County Chief Is Victim Of Smear Campaign", November 5th ):

"It is not the function of the county council to vet its members who have been put forward for higher office", which presumably included soon-to-be-leader, county councillor Henry Edward Millar Smith.

Am I therefore given to understand that it is not the function of top 'non-political' local government officers to "vet" top political local government councillors, especially those seeking the highest political appointment in this county as Leader of the West Sussex County Council?

I think it should be one of their critical functions - or else, for example, the independence of officers can become dangerously over compromised by politically driven councillors, who may act against the interests of those they purport to represent.


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