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Daily Press waits on FOI appeal over chief exec's quit mystery

The Eastern Daily Press has lodged an appeal over a council decision to hold back documents surrounding the departure of its former chief executive.

The newspaper tried to unearth details of her sudden resignation under Freedom of Information laws after it emerged she had been under investigation for a month.

Becky Hellard quit Breckland Council and then got a new job and a pay rise at another local authority.

The EDP wants to know more about the allegations against her. It also wants to know the impact on council taxpayers of the ongoing recruitment process.

Although some information about the events was released, the Eastern Daily Press approaches were largely rebuffed, so the paper is appealing to the Information Commissioner.

The commissioner has been asked to review Breckland’s handling of the case and is awaiting a response.

A range of possible reasons for an investigation and the £108,000-a-year chief executive’s departure have been passed on to the EDP, which is seeking answers from the council.

Councillors are already claiming the authority has been damaged by what happened, and that locals are losing confidence in it.