A FORMER finance chief will take Bournemouth council to an employment tribunal next week, alleging she was "unfairly constructively dismissed" for acting as a "whistleblower."

The tribunal at Southampton will look at the circumstances surrounding the departure of Liz Wilkinson, who was paid more than £100,000 a year as the borough's executive director for finance and Section 151 officer.

The tribunal is listed to start next Thursday but the first two days are expected to be "reading days" and it's anticipated the tribunal will start hearing evidence from September 1.

Ms Wilkinson joined Bournemouth council in February 2012 and was paid £103,850 in 2013/14, records show.

She was suspended in October 2014, with chief executive Tony Williams saying this was because they had received a complaint from senior officers about her "behaviour and conduct." He said this included allegations of bullying.

But Ms Wilkinson later emailed councillors claiming she had been trying to act as a whistleblower and investigate her concerns about the council's outsourcing deal with Mouchel, now part of the Keir group, when she was suspended.

Her email alleged the council was likely to pay between one third and one half more (£5m to £7m) to Mouchel than it would if it provided the services itself.

Ms Wilkinson subsequently resigned from the council and lodged a claim against her former employers, alleging she had been "unfairly constructively dismissed" and subjected to detriment for having made protected disclosures.

Bournemouth council has always insisted they do not believe there is any substance to the allegation that the Mouchel contract was not good value.

As well as defending its position at the forthcoming tribunal, it also authorised an external, formal and independent investigation into the complaints about Ms Wilkinson's behaviour.