The award of an OBE to retiring council boss David Hill has been described as a ‘slap in the face’ to the taxpayers of Milton Keynes.
Some of Mr Hill’s own councillors – who sought a vote of no confidence in his ability as chief executive just months ago – say he is responsible for the council losing well over £1 million on bungles such as CMK’s Secklow Bridge fiasco and Wolverton Station overspend.
“The insensitivity from whoever nominated him is breathtaking,” said leading Tory councillor John Bint.
“In view of his involvement in scandals costing the city something like £1million I think it is a slap in the face for the taxpayers of Milton Keynes that someone, probably from the council, has nominated him.”
Liberal Democrat councillor Chris Williams, one of several councillors expressing doubts about the £150,000 chief executive in January, said: “I am somewhat surprised.
“Councillors from all three political parties were seeking a vote of no confidence in Mr Hill early this year. Shortly afterwards a package was agreed and Mr Hill announced his intention to retire.”
It is understood the then council leader Andrew Geary reported the dissatisfaction to Mr Hill and helped agree the retirement announcement.
This week Councillor Geary said: “I knew nothing about the OBE and I have no idea who made the nomination.
“But David Hill has done an awful lot of good for Milton Keynes. He has led MK to a much better state than it was in when he joined in 2009.”
Mr Hill worked for many years as a high-ranking civil servant and was instrumental in helping achieve the Good Friday agreement for Northern Ireland.
But the OBE was awarded specifically for his local government services.
He said: “I am absolutely thrilled to receive this very prestigious award, but it must be seen in part as a tribute to all those with whom I have had the pleasure of working over the past five years.”