Unhappy ending for council’s love story

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The city’s director of planning has this week been “advised” to quit his job because of his love for a councillor.

The three year old relationship between Nick Fenwick and Councillor Catriona Morris has never posed any apparent problem for councillors or council workers.

But a single complaint, believed to have come from the Liberal Democrats, recently prompted a £10,000 investigation.

Ordered by council chief executive David Hill, the scrutiny examined whether or not any professional impropriety had taken place.

The report was completed last week but has been kept under wraps. It is understod that nothing untoward was found about the behaviour of either party.

However, council sources say the planning director has been approached by David Hill and advised to quit his job.

One source said: “It’s not known whether a leaving package has been discussed or whether Nick is considering the alternative option of fighting the council in court.”

Ms Morris, who was mayor last year, told last week how “hurt and upset” she was.

“We have never been anything other than professional about everything at the council. We avoid anything that would cause any problems,” she said at the time.

This week she could not comment about the outcome – except to say that ending the relationship was “most definitely not an option” for either party.

Fellow conservative and council leader Andrew Geary told the Citizen: “In my opinion Catriona Morris is an important and valued politician and Nick Fenwick is a first class director of planning.”

Labour leader Pete Marland said: “The investigation is over and there appears to be no problem revealed so we should let them both get on with doing their jobs. and doing what they are good at.””

Meanwhile Lib Dem leader Douglas McCall said: “I do not have a problem with either Nick or Catriona.”

He would not however comment on whether he had a problem with the couple’s relationship.

A spokesman for Milton Keynes Council also refused to comment, saying: “It is not our policy to talk about individual members of staff.”