Worrying, very worrying, but not unexpected. I really, really, really wanted to believe that the new and veteran parish councillors would do their best to conduct their work in a good if not pleasant atmosphere. I predicted that there would be some friction but I expected it much later. I was wrong, already in the June meeting there were singes that several councillors “were not trying their hardest” to get along with the Parish Clerk – Fiona. But I was not prepared for the statement Fiona’s husband, Tony, read out last week, at the July Parish meeting. After he sat down, there was a moment of silence and then with no comment the Parish council returned to the agenda.
Fiona is a very good Parish Clerk. She is very dedicated and has contributed much to the village. The people who would like to see her “put in her place” are those who are not happy with the way she sticks to the rules, regulations and the law.
Tony kindly provided me with the text he read – I think it speaks for itself:
The role of the clerk is a strange one, the council appoint a clerk to advise what members can and cannot do. Individuals may not wish to accept that, but surely holding a public position carries responsibilities.
What is not acceptable is that my wife, your clerk, has had to suffer being told how one of your new members ‘hates’ her, has been referred to as ‘that twit of a clerk’ to members of the public and how the first thing that a new member has on his agenda is ,’to get rid of the clerk’. Strange how some people think that everyone agrees with them but obviously not the ones who have been so offended as to wish to share these comments.
Outstanding complaints are still to be addressed with new complaints against bullying and harassment. This will be an interesting situation as two of these people sit on your staffing committee, believing that they understand the very delicate matter of treating staff with dignity and respect.
I believe that most of you are fair minded, but these issues have to be addressed for the sake of this council and more importantly as far as I’m concerned the sake of my wife, your clerk.
Nights spent awake and visits to Stoke Mandeville in the middle of the night caused by stress and upset, are not acceptable and will not be tolerated.
I also believe unless issues are dealt with, not only will you lose your very hard working and conscientious Clerk but the minority will once again bring this council to it’s knees and I’m sure to most of you that’s not what you want.
Finally on a more personal note, I will not sit by and watch my wife, your clerk come home in tears because of a member or members of this council.