LEGAL costs incurred from the departure of Somerset County Council’s former chief executive Sheila Wheeler totalled £55,000.

Sheila Wheeler left the authority in February with a three month notice period paid up – a total of £40,000 - and the £55,000 costs covered drawing up the legal agreement signed by both sides. There were no pension contributions on top of this sum.

Somerset County Council also spent £109,000 defending itself against a complaint against several individuals within the council but they say it was not related to the departure of the Ms Wheeler and was dealt with through an independent process.