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Angry clash over Cromer Town Council staff hours

PUBLISHED: 15:15 02 October 2012 | UPDATED: 15:23 02 October 2012

Cromer town councillor Keith Johnson.

Cromer town councillor Keith Johnson.

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An angry row broke out at Cromer Town Council as members voted to think again about a plan to increase the hours of the clerk and deputy clerk and boost office opening hours.

On Monday evening, the personnel sub-committee recommendations were heard, proposing the clerk’s hours should increase from 32 to 37, and the deputy clerk’s from 15 to 22.

Office hours would change to 10am to 3pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday.

But the full council voted to call a meeting to discuss it further.

Marion Saunders said she had “grave reservations” about extending the opening hours, which would “tie staff down to a location”.

Greg Hayman said: “We cannot justify any public benefit for increasing our staff hours. Were we proposing new work, then and only then should we be taking the decision to increase staff time.”

Keith Johnson agreed, saying times were tough and adding: “I want to see the evidence before me for this before we decide.”

Deputy mayor David Pritchard said he was “surprised” at Mr Hayman’s comments, and said: “Consultants were brought in at your request. They made a series of recommendations that the personnel sub-committee has worked through.

“Having a full-time clerk and increasing the hours of the deputy clerk will allow them sufficient time to do the duties that they have.”

Tony Nash said: “There’s been four years of stress laid upon our clerk and deputy clerk. There have been times when they’ve taken work home, and I think we should treat our staff properly. We should not be knocking our clerk.”

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