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‘There are clearly issues within the town council’ - latest on Wymondham row which has caused a breakdown between councillors

11:06 18 February 2014

Andy Gardiner.

Andy Gardiner.

© ARCHANT NORFOLK 2011

Mediation would be of “significant benefit” to a town council where there appears to have been a breakdown in effective working relationships between elected representatives, a monitoring officer for the area has said.

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South Norfolk Council (SNC) deputy chief executive Andy Radford wrote to Wymondham Town Council clerk Trevor Gurney to say he had received a range of complaints against various councillors for the authority.

Although he stressed he had not been provided with evidence that would suggest any individual had breached the councillor’s code of conduct, Mr Radford - who is also SNC’s monitoring officer - told Mr Gurney: “There are clearly issues within the town council.

“I would be interested to know what plans you have to improve on the current situation and if there is anything I can do to assist.

“For example, there are organisations that previously worked successfully to develop solutions through mediation with other councils in similar situations.

“Such solutions can be costly but I do believe they would be of significant benefit to the council longer term. I would be keen to hear from you if the council did wish to explore these further.”

Mr Gurney said Wymondham Town Council did not wish to comment on the letter at this stage.

Mr Radford stressed that SNC was “limited in its role and attempts to identify solutions that aim to restore working relationships, with the aim that those who serve the council do so to secure positive outcomes for the people of Wymondham”.

He also said that without evidence the councillors’ code had been broken, he did not intend to consider further any of the matters brought to his attention.

“I do not wish to dwell on the contents or detail of the complaints or correspondence, except to say that it would indicate to me that there has been some breakdown in the effective working relationships between councillors,” Mr Radford said.

The letter follows the resignation of Wymondham town councillor Andy Gardiner, who complained he was “treated with abject contempt” on the authority.

“There comes a time when you have to say enough is enough,” Mr Gardiner said.

What do you think of the current situation at Wymondham Town Council? Contact EDP reporter Andrew Papworth on 01379 651153 or email andrew.papworth@archant.co.uk

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