Outgoing mayor removed from council committees following comments which attracted police complaints

THE outgoing Mayor of Wisbech was summoned to a showdown meeting today with Fenland Council Leader Alan Melton and told he had been removed from two committees following complaints by police.

When Councillor Jonathan Farmer was first asked to attend he thought he might be that Cllr Melton and his deputy Councillor Chris Seaton planned to offer him a job in Cabinet.

Instead Cllr Farmer found himself removed from the overview and scrutiny committee and removed as vice chairman of the tourism committee.

Cllr Melton fell short of more punitive sanctions – rumoured to be Cllr Farmer’s temporary suspension from the group- following a last minute change of heart.

Cllr Farmer said after the disciplinary hearing at Fenland Hall that he felt “indifferent” to being removed from two committees and was happy to work from the back benches.

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“They see it as punishment but it actually takes me off two committees without having to resign from them,” he said.

He claimed the letter from police which resulted in disciplinary action had missed the point of his complaint. Cllr Farmer said he had frequently complained of institutional racism within the force and not racism as had been claimed and was therefore a totally different issue.

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For sometime the mayor had supported eastern European licensees in Wisbech who he claimed had been treated unfairly by the police and licensing authority.

However he said his complaints harked back to a period before Inspector Robin Sissons had returned to the town “so the issues are actually no longer there. “

Cllr Farmer said: “I deny I was rude to the police but accept I was boisterous. I am reasonably happy with the outcome of this matter.”

Fenland Council had already sent an apology to Cambs Police following his remarks.

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