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Answers demanded over town clerk

Published date: 22 November 2012 |
Published by: Gill Broad
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THE Herald is to pursue the controversy surrounding the departure of a former town clerk with the Information Commissioner's Office after receiving an unsatisfactory 'eleventh hour' response to questions to Whitchurch Town Council.

The Herald has twice quoted the Freedom of Information Act as it re-submitted its original questions to the council following a previous inadequate response as it continues to seek answers surrounding the departure of Peter Martin.
Townspeople have backed the action being taken by the Herald after they also confronted councillors over the matter at a November 8 extraordinary meeting to discuss the appointment of his successor.
Early indications show the issue may have cost the town over £80,000 in public money amid fears the total cost may be far higher as the council continues to ignore repeated pleas from the public to explain itself and outline the actual costs.
Some answers the council have given to the Herald's FOI request however reveal information such as that Mr Martin never underwent a disciplinary hearing to discuss the allegations made against him despite being suspended for nine months prior to a settlement being reached.
The council has also divulged that temporary office managers brought in to replace him during this period may have cost it as much as £500 per week.

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