Sacked town clerk to take case to tribunal - The Malvern Observer

Sacked town clerk to take case to tribunal

Malvern Editorial 9th Apr, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016   0

THE CLERK of Malvern Town Council has been sacked after more than five years worth of bullying and harassment to towards a member of staff.

Richard Chapman, the council’s most senior officer, was dismissed on Friday (April 3) from his £40,000-a-year role after been found guilty of gross misconduct.

The former clerk, who was appointed in December 2003, said he was ‘shocked’ by the decision and confirmed he would now take the matter to an employment tribunal.

He had been suspended since last October following a formal complaint and, in February, a disciplinary panel found him guilty of breaching the council’s harassment and bullying policy where he had a sanction imposed upon him and it was recommended he underwent training.

Councillors agreed Mr Chapman should remain on leave until the matter was fully closed after he appealed the decision which he withdrew last Wednesday (April 2).

The the following day the appeal panel decided Mr Chapman should be dismissed after the staff member who made the allegations contested the severity of the original sanction.

Following the decision Mr Chapman said: “I was shocked to receive a letter from Malvern Town Council dismissing me from the post of Town Clerk.”

He claimed parts of the process had not followed the correct procedure and added: “It is with regret that I will be lodging a complaint with the Employment Tribunal in Birmingham for unfair dismissal.

“As the tribunal will be heard in public all allegations and the actions of MTC will legitimately be in the public domain.”

Despite the move, Mayor Julian Roskams said the town council now considered the matter was ‘at an end’.

He added: “This has been an extremely challenging period for the whole town council, and in particular its staff.

“I would like to thank them all for showing a huge amount of professionalism in often very difficult circumstances.

“It has been a real example of the value of great leadership and teamwork.

“I am glad the council chose to treat these complaints seriously, to thoroughly investigate them and to follow due process that ensured fairness to all those involved although this has inevitably lead to accusations regarding the speed and cost of the process.

“While I do not accept these to be valid, I think it is essential the council learns the lessons to ensure staff have a safe and secure working environment, and in future have confidence in any procedure that is in place for allowing them to raise any concerns.

“We are fortunate to have such a good team in place, morale is high, and I look forward to the council moving forward and continuing its excellent work for the people of Malvern.”

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