Chesterfield Derbyshire Times – Parish clerk quits meeting in tears

Parish clerk quits meeting in tears

Published Date: 15 May 2008
By Jon Cooper

A distressed clerk stormed out of a packed parish meeting in tears after councillors began discussing changes to her job – and possible redundancy – in public. Barlborough Parish Council started talking about the private issue of the role of the clerk, Roz Bullimore, in the open session at the village’s Resource Centre, on Monday. This included restructuring of the clerk’s role and the fact that she had raised ‘grievances’ against the council.

Mrs Bullimore told the meeting she felt her job and grievances should be discussed privately and said: “You’re discussing my redundancy payment,” and announced she felt “disgusted”. She fled the meeting in tears.

Parish councillors Bridget Ingle and John Shaw told the meeting they did not want to be further involved in the discussion and councillor Sylvia Linacre said she feared the council could be subject to a constructive dismissal complaint.

They too left the meeting before it was reconvened with a resident as temporary clerk.

The argument is the latest involving the clerk and councillors following a series of rows which have plagued meetings in front of residents for months.

Mrs Bullimore has complained during meetings about the way the council is running them with her procedure guidance being over-ruled.

She previously claimed a public meeting arranged in her absence, in March, was illegal because she was not notified and a resident was made temporary clerk without asking the council.

Cllrs Ingle and Shaw, who want to achieve ‘quality’ parish council status, which means the council must demonstrate high standards and can apply for extra funding, have also criticised council procedure, raising concerns about members of the public being allowed to comment during discussions.

Mrs Bullimore declined to comment when contacted by the Derbyshire Times after the meeting, as did council chairman, Stephen Oldknow.

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