WHAT an utterly extraordinary mess Winchester City Council is in. A laughing stock, to put it bluntly.


This newspaper has seen a copy of a confidential report and the council has responded with unprecedented threats of legal action.
At issue is a report into the alleged behaviour of Cllr Kim Gottlieb in relation to other fellow councillors and senior officers at the city council during the Silver Hill imbroglio.
A draft report by monitoring officer Tim Darsley, dated November 24, 2016, was followed in January by the full report. Yet nothing has been done with that report in the three months since. And now the council plans to shoot the messenger.
Cllr Gottlieb claims that the report has been abandoned and a second investigation will be held; an assertion to which the council has yet to respond.
It would appear that the council has got itself caught between a rock and a hard place.
Cllr Gottlieb has shown he is not afraid to resort to legal action. He scuppered the first Silver Hill scheme through his action in the High Court against his own city council, led by his own party, the Conservatives.
But if the council does try to order a second report, who is going to be prepared to undertake it in place of Mr Darsley?
And what about the concept of open, transparent government?http://www.hampshirechronicle.co.uk/news/15223460.Winchester_City_Council_threatens_High_Court_injunction_against_Hampshire_Chronicle/