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County council refuses to talk to reporter

Suffolk County Council Has told the Ipswich Evening Star that it is refusing to deal with the paper’s local government reporter Paul Greater.

Why? The paper reports:

Simply for telling the uncomfortable truth that more than £12,000 of taxpayers’ money has been spent on paying for council chief Andrea Hill to have sessions with professional “change” guru Sol Davidson.

Mr Geater, who was has worked as local government correspondent for The Star since 1994 and never been banned before, was told by a senior press officer Andrew St Ledger that the county council’s press office was no longer prepared to work with him following the story about the training sessions for Mrs Hill.

This is a clear sign that the council (officers or elected members?) is severely rattled by the stories about Andrea Hill’s £218,000 salary, trips to the US and training.

As the council comes under attack for this and the relish for cuts it is becoming increasingly irrational. The cuts have become confused with the New strategic direction which aims to outsource most services. Ms Hill is a moving force in this.

Both ipswich’s MPs, Ben Gummer and Dan Poulter, have condemned the council decision.

Hat tip to Ipswich Spy. James Hargrave has also blogged on this under the heading Orwellian double think and Suffolk County Council

11.30 am The mystery deepens as the council tells Guardian’s media blogger Roy Greenslade that it will continue to talk to Greater. Seeing sense?

12.30 Evening Star reports on bizarre u-turn.

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