SHOCK RESIGNATION OF COASTAL BOSS
Friday, June 15, 2007 - 11:51
INTERNATIONALLY renowned IW Council coastal manager Dr Robin McInnes has resigned from the authority, days after being questioned about the Undercliff Drive scandal - although he robustly denied the two events were linked.Seven officers have been suspended over the Undercliff Drive scandal and the council has confirmed three of those will face disciplinary action. They are deputy chief executive John Lawson, chief financial officer Paul Wilkinson and director for regeneration and development Derek Rowell. Also suspended are head of engineering services Steve Matthews, principal highways engineer Nick Gallen, programme lead for compliance Bob Streets and purchasing manager John Spencer.
Dr McInnes said his resignation had nothing to do with the investigation into the awarding of millions of pounds' worth of work on the Undercliff Drive to engineering company High-Point Rendell and he had been considering resigning since last August, having spent 36 years with the council.
Asked if he had been questioned by investigating solicitors hired by the council just days before his resignation, Dr McInnes said: “Certainly, that was the case I was questioned about it but the timing was purely coincidental.”
He said his various international contacts had given him the opportunity to do more work with the United Nations and European Community, which interested him in terms of coastal management and landslide work.
Dr McInnes, 57, said it was time for a change and to spend a bit more time with his family.
Stuart Love, director of environment and neighbourhoods, said: “Dr McInnes has done an excellent job of managing our coastal centre and the Island’s coastline for over 36 years.
“He has now taken the decision to spend some quality time with his family and to pursue his international interests with regards to coastal management.
“The team who work with him at the centre will continue to manage the centre and the work of this council in this important area.”
Dr McInnes was made an OBE for his services to coastal protection and for his chairmanship of the coastal defence groups of England and Wales. He has published more than 40 technical papers on the subject and written 11 books about the Island.
He has advised on the subject at international level and organised top-level conferences both here and overseas.