River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Letter to Pump From Tom Ryves

July 2016

Dear Editor, I am amazed, as many readers may be, at the arrogance of the unelected Parish Council in preventing Judith Taylor, previously clerk to the Parish Council from being co-opted as a parish councillor. It is clear from Judith’s track record as clerk that she has knowledge, drive and competence, qualities certainly not evident in a number of the Councillors that Stoke Ferry suffers. I note also that Judith’s role as Parish Clerk was ended by the appalling behaviour of the then Chair and Vice Chair, Councillors Clements and Hardy, who were extremely rude to her in a public forum causing her to offer her resignation, so wasting the large sums of money invested in the clerk as she followed a rigorous training programme. We should remind ourselves that the new Chair, herself sought to sue the Parish and instigated a grievance procedure against it. Indeed, she received a payment of £2,500 because the enquiry into her allegations was never fully concluded and therefore the Parish Council appeared to not fully deal with the complaint. The residents of Stoke Ferry have never received an explanation of this payment and the minutes surrounding this payment were opaque. We should also recall that these councillors have never been exposed to a formally contested election process. Stoke Ferry is thus paying the price for allowing a self-elected group to take control of the parish council and of its budget. For the record, I understand that councillors Clements, Hardy, Nicholas-Letch and Precey voted against the co-option of Mrs Taylor. I would also like these councillors to explain why they do not consider her suitable for a councillor, given her experience and qualifications, especially when the council is understrength and no-one else is coming forward to offer themselves for the vacancies! Tom Ryves

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