Senior council officer suspended over ‘his workplace behaviour’

A SENIOR Yorkshire council officer has been suspended after allegations were made about his behaviour in the workplace.

Andrew Bedford, who receives a salary package of £130,000 a year, was suspended from his role as strategic director of resources at Rotherham Council earlier this month.

Despite Mr Bedford’s high-profile role, which includes running the authority’s finances, the council has officially declined to acknowledge he is not currently working.

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News of the suspension, which began on November 5, has instead emerged through a private letter sent by the authority’s Labour leader, Roger Stone, to councillors.

The letter said Mr Bedford had been suspended with immediate effect and added: “This followed allegations made in relation to his behaviour in the workplace.

“You will appreciate the reason for his suspension and details of the allegations remain confidential. May I also remind you that suspension is a neutral act to facilitate a fair and thorough investigation and is not of itself a disciplinary sanction.

“I recognise this will inevitably cause some degree of uncertainty for elected members and staff but it is hoped this can be kept to a minimum and that this situation can be resolved as quickly as possible.”

The letter said council chief executive Martin Kimber was taking over Mr Bedford’s role in the meantime.

The council declined to respond to questions and would not acknowledge Mr Bedford’s suspension. It is not known what the allegations involve.

A spokeswoman would only say interim management arrangements had been put in place in the resources directorate and that there were “no issues of financial probity”.

The Yorkshire Post has been unable to contact Mr Bedford for comment.

It is understood an investigation will be led by an individual from outside the authority. Until its conclusion, Mr Bedford will remain suspended on full pay.