Norwich city councillor reinstated after mystery suspension

A member of Norwich City Council's controlling Labour group, who was temporarily suspended from her cabinet duties, has been reinstated.

The Norwich Evening News reported how Deborah Gihawi, who represents Mile Cross, had been prevented from carrying out her duties as cabinet member for play areas and open spaces because of the suspension.

City Hall bosses had been tight-lipped on the reasons why the mother-of-two, who lives in Eade Road, had been suspended.

But today, the city council revealed she had been reinstated after a complaint lodged against her was withdrawn.

A city council spokesman said: 'We received a potentially serious complaint about a cabinet member and - just as in the case of an employee - they were temporarily suspended as a precautionary measure pending further investigation.

'The suspension in this case was from their portfolio duties and not from their role as a councillor.

'The complaint has since been withdrawn and the cabinet member reinstated. As the complaint was withdrawn, it would be inappropriate to disclose the details.

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'This has no consequences for the residents of Norwich. The cabinet member concerned has continued to serve as a councillor and has not missed any cabinet meetings.'

While the city council has refused to give a reason for Mrs Gihawi's suspension from her cabinet duties, it is understood the complaint about Mrs Gihawi related to work she was doing to help a family who were involved with social services.

The city council would not confirm who, or which organisation, had made the complaint about Mrs Gihawi, a qualified social worker, or what had been alleged.

Mrs Gihawi, who was first elected to the city council in 2008, comfortably held onto her Mile Cross seat in this May's elections, garnering 1,019 votes, well ahead of second placed Green candidate Richard Edwards.

Mrs Gihawi said she had nothing to add to the statement which was issued by City Hall.

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