The council love story that’s cost the public £10,000

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Up to £10,000 of public money has been spent investigating a known love match between a city councillor and a council planning director, the Citizen can reveal.

Milton Keynes Council commissioned a firm of private consultants to decide whether

the three-year-old relationship between former Mayor Catriona Morris and planning boss Nick Fenwick has caused any professional problems.

Indignant Ms Morris, the Conservative councillor for Linford South, said: “Nick and I have always been totally open about our relationship and have never allowed it to compromise us professionally.

“I do not get involved in planning matters and he declares an interest in anything in my ward that could involve him. We avoid anything that would cause any problems.

“We are hurt and upset by this investigation. The only good thing is that it has made us stronger as a couple.”

The decision to employ the private consultants, who are due to hand in their report next week, is understood to have come from council chief executive David Hill.

A council spokesman said: “This is a sensitive matter and it is still under consideration.”

He would not comment on the cost of the investigation.

Council leader Andrew Geary is among a string of councillors and officers who have been interviewed by the consultants.

He told the Citizen: “In my opinion Catriona Morris is an important and valued politician and Nick Fenwick is a first class director of planning.”

Ms Morris’ mayoral successor, Labour councillor Brian White, said: “I have been interviewed and made my view clear: there is nothing inappropriate or wrong in the actions of these two people.”