BREAKING NEWS: Wisbech councillors deliver their verdict on suspended town clerk Erbie Murat

Erbie Murat, Wisbech Town Council clerk

Erbie Murat, Wisbech Town Council clerk - Credit: Archant

An extraordinary meeting of Wisbech Town Council tonight confirmed a disciplinary hearing held earlier in the day which recommended the dismissal of town clerk Erbie Murat.

The summary dismissal of Mr Murat comes more than 10 months after he was suspended – initially for a month- following a meeting with council leader David Oliver and his deputy Jonathan Farmer.

The disciplinary panel which decided Mr Murat’s fate was chaired by town councillor Steve Tierney and comprised two other councillors.

Cllr Tierney last month revealed he had spent time studying a 200 page report into Mr Murat’s actions and had planned for the panel to meet sooner but it was delayed a fortnight through illness.

Following tonight’s meeting, which had excluded both the press and public, Cllr Tierney took to Twitter to comment: “Staff issue completed. Very tired.”

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Mr Murat, 62, was suspended on January 7 and so began a lengthy and complex process that included the formation of a sub committee to examine the allegations. That report – which was never made public- was overtaken by events as the investigation into Mr Murat’s conduct widened. It is thought every aspect of the former clerk’s correspondence, emails and computer held information was trawled over as part of the later stages of the inquiry.

Since taking the decision to suspend him at the beginning of the year, Cllr Oliver has played a back seat, insisting it would not be right for him to comment publicly on the council’s reasons for suspending Mr Murat.

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At one point the matter was referred to the conduct committee of Fenland Council by Mr Murat who complained of the actions of both Cllr Farmer and Cllr Oliver.

In written evidence to the conduct committee Mr Murat revealed he had been told by Cllr Oliver that “on January 7 you committed acts of misconduct listed in the staff handbook that every employee is expected to follow. This has not been the first time you have done this either.”

Mr Murat told the conduct committee that Cllr Oliver and Cllr Farmer had “bullied, harassed, intimidated, threatened and victimised” him.

However the matter was shunted aside by the conduct committee who agreed that whilst the staffing issue remained unresolved it was not ethical for them to probe complaints about the two Wisbech councillors.

Following tonight’s decision of the town council, Mr Murat will be offered the opportunity to appeal against his summary dismissal.

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