Slough Borough council’s former chief executive has said she will robustly defend herself after she was sacked by the authority over its financial situation.

Josie Wragg, who took up her role in 2018, was dismissed at a March 9 hearing of the council after an investigating & disciplinary committee (IDC) found a number of failings.

The committee’s report said Mrs Wragg:

  • Failed to provide effective corporate leadership, or to build a stable and effective corporate management team
  • Failed to ensure adequate corporate capacity, resulting in inadequate internal processes and insufficient capacity to achieve the changes required
  • Failed to put in place effective council governance
  • Failed to ensure that posts at all levels including statutory officer posts were appropriately filled, for example the s151 officer
  • Failed to monitor, challenge or manage the council’s revenue budget, borrowing or capital programme
  • Failed to identify, manage or mitigate key risks facing the council
  • Demonstrated a lack of awareness and acceptance of the need for improvement
  • Failed to ensure recommendations from audit and peer reviews were implemented in a timely manner
  • Failed to develop an adequate or credible response to the s114 Notice
  • Not demonstrated or given confidence to external partners that she was capable of leading the council through its current difficulties.

A statement released by the council said commissioners recognised Mrs Wragg ‘could not and should not’ be held accountable for decisions taken prior to her appointment, but that the decisions she did take, and was responsible for, had been tested by the IDC and the allegations had been upheld ‘through proper process’.

However, Mrs Wragg issued her own statement the following day. It stated: “I wholly refute the decision taken yesterday by Slough Borough Council.  I am prepared to robustly defend my reputation, which has been established following 30-plus years of otherwise unblemished service in local government, in the face of these baseless claims.”

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