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4th Jul, 2022

UPDATE: Appeal decision on town clerk due next week

Malvern Editorial 20th Mar, 2014 Updated: 20th Oct, 2016

THE SIX month saga around the suspended town clerk of Malvern Town Council could end next week, it has been announced.

The matter sparked a heated debate between past and present council members and dominated proceedings during the annual general meeting held at Avenue Road on Tuesday (March 18).

Former chairman Ralph Madden said he was ‘astonished’ the council had not revealed the ‘full facts’ alluding to why Richard Chapman had been suspended since October.

Alistair Macmillan, also a former chairman, similarly questioned why the proceedings had taken so long branding the process a ‘disgrace’.

However Mr Madden faced a backlash from current members including Mayor Julian Roskams and present council members for claiming the disciplinary originally decided not to suspend the town clerk but the decision was overturned by councillors behind closed doors during a specially arranged meeting in February.

Coun Patrick Mewton asked to know who had provided him with such information as the record of the discussions was not yet in the public domain.

Mayor Roskams also questioned the former chairman as to why a process to bring a complaint against the town clerk had not been put in place previously to which Mr Madden claimed staff were assessed annually.

The Mayor read out a statement prior to debate which featured on the Observer’s front page this week, reiterating he would not discuss confidential information relating to the case which would undermine the appeal process currently underway.

He confirmed the panel were scheduled to meet next week when the matter would likely be concluded.

Mayor Roskams added: “I refute claims that I or anyone on the council have concealed or suppressed information.

“There is an ongoing process that needs to be fair to all and I am conscious to of a confidentiality agreement made with Mr Chapman and his legal team to respect his privacy. I for one intend to abide by that.

“To those within and outside of the council who seek to personalise this matter, to besmirch my reputation and that of the council with half-truths and untruths, all I can say is that I won’t be bullied by anyone, I am going nowhere and my conscience is entirely clear.”

Coun Helen I’Anson clarified the original hearing date was due to take place mid December but was postponed until after Christmas at the request of Mr Chapman.

She added: “As someone who knows all of the facts I am horrified at the half truths, insinuations and the desire for knowledge that should be kept confidential.

“If this situation was to do with members of your own family you would not want it to be read out in the public arena.”

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