Richard Brown attempts to justify the £400,000 paid to chief executive Mary Weastell for her voluntary early retirement and to deflect criticism of the Liberal Democrat council leaders over the issue (Council budgets will not be ‘plundered’, Letters, March 6).

Both Mr Brown and recent correspondent Quentin Macdonald, who also tried to extinguish concerns, are not normally coy by nature, yet somehow forgot to tell us that they are not impartial as both stood as Lib Dem candidates in last May’s local election.

Mr Brown said in his letter that York council was ‘obliged to make a severance payment commensurate with her senior position’. Pardon me, but voluntary early retirement does not require a severance payment. The reasons for Ms Weastell’s intention to take City of York Council to an employment tribunal must be made public. Otherwise, the public perception that the council has something serious to hide will continue. Council leader Keith Aspden must answer the important questions surrounding this affair.

Geoff Robb,

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