Wisbech Town Council leader faces committee over sacked clerk’s “bullying” claims

Portfolio Holder for Wisbech Affairs, David Oliver (left) receives the £20,000 cheque from Chairman

Portfolio Holder for Wisbech Affairs, David Oliver (left) receives the £20,000 cheque from Chairman of the Wisbech Society, Brian Payne, to pay for the recently installed Supplicant panel on the Clarkson Memorial.watched by other Wisbech Society trustees. - Credit: Archant

Allegations that Wisbech Town Council leader David Oliver “bullied, harassed, intimidated, threatened and victimised” sacked town clerk Erbie Murat will be examined by Fenland’s conduct committee next week.

Erbie Murat. Picture: Steve Williams.

Erbie Murat. Picture: Steve Williams. - Credit: Archant

The committee will finally determine formal complaints against Cllr Oliver that have been on hold since early 2013, while the on-going employment dispute between Mr Murat and the town council were dealt with.

An employment tribunal agreed last month the council was correct in sacking Mr Murat for gross misconduct, although it also concluded that not all procedures were correctly followed.

Mr Murat, who is now appealing the tribunal’s findings, made a formal complaint against Cllr Oliver on March 5 2013 after he was suspended for “committing acts of gross misconduct”.

In his written complaint Mr Murat alleges Cllr Oliver breached Local Government rules when he suspended him for no longer than 30 days on January 7 2013 because he did it without the town council’s authority.

Mr Murat wrote to Alan Pain, Fenland’s corporate director and monitoring officer: “These behaviours have sought to embarrass, intimidate, and humiliate me in a very public way and had an extremely deleterious effect on me in a variety of ways including my health.”

He also accused Cllr Oliver of leaking the information about his suspension to the press.

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In a written response Cllr Oliver said: “Mr Murat is aware that over the years I have condemned anybody using the media to facilitate, solve or air problems of confidential matters and I would not subject anybody to that.”

And added he had taken advice at all times and “made sure that my part in all of this has been professional”.

The conduct commitee will look at the complaints when it meets at Fenland Hall on Tuesday (March 10).

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