The council insist their top man is still in the driving seat after questions were asked where he currently is and if he was unwell.

Concerned residents questioned why the chief executive was absent from North Ayrshire’s recent socially-distanced meetings with frontline workers and tributes on the 75th VE Day.

North Ayrshire Council declined to elaborate on Craig Hatton’s working from home arrangements or health amid the COVID-19 pandemic, but said he was in daily contact.

A spokesperson said: “Staff are provided with regular updates via video messages, which gives Craig the opportunity to express his profound gratitude for the work they are carrying out in these exceptional times.

“Elected members are also provided with regular briefings and our chief executive continues to consult with councillors whilst exercising his powers of delegated authority. Craig is supported by his leadership team which provides on-going business continuity and resilience.

“Given that over the past few weeks the council has had to develop, at pace, entirely new ways of delivering services, there have been a few occasions where operational matters have required us to meet with staff. During these visits we comply with social distancing measures at all times.

“It was right and proper that the council’s message to commemorate VE day was provided by the council’s civic leader and veteran’s champion Provost Ian Clarkson.”


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