Outgoing Greenwich Council leader 'hides' from meeting over controversial company

News Shopper: Councillor Chris Roberts Councillor Chris Roberts

Greenwich Council's outgoing leader failed to show up to a meeting questioning his appointments to a controversial council-run company.

Councillor Chris Roberts resigned as director of housing company Meridian Home Start after fellow Labour members opposed plans for it to expand along the lines of leisure provider Greenwich Leisure Limited. That resignation came days before he announced he would quit the council at this week's election.

But Cllr Roberts did not attend a scrutiny meeting called by the Conservatives last week - leaving him unable to answer questions on why he resigned so abruptly and over the board members he had chosen to take his place.

Instead, council chief exec told the meeting that she could not answer questions on the leader's resignation.

Greenwich Conservative Deputy Leader Councillor Nigel Fletcher said afterwards: "It seems Labour in Greenwich are ending this administration in familiar style – avoiding scrutiny, dodging questions and hiding behind council officers.

"There have been serious concerns raised about why Councillor Roberts resigned from the company and is not seeking re-election to the council, but no-one has been prepared to answer questions about it.  The whole thing seems very odd indeed."

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