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Town councillors in ‘bullying’ row stripped of roles

PUBLISHED: 16:56 28 February 2020 | UPDATED: 13:02 29 February 2020

Security blocked the public and press from entering Attleborough Town Hall as the future of Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer was discussed. Picture: Archant

Security blocked the public and press from entering Attleborough Town Hall as the future of Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer was discussed. Picture: Archant

Archant

Two town councillors have been stripped of their roles after a complaint of “harassment, bullying and intimidation” was upheld by their town council.

Taila Taylor with fellow Attleborough councillor Lucan Grave, who chose not to attend the private meeting in support. Picture: ArchantTaila Taylor with fellow Attleborough councillor Lucan Grave, who chose not to attend the private meeting in support. Picture: Archant

At an extraordinary meeting of Attleborough Town Council on Thursday evening, eight members - including mayor Tony Crouch - discussed a motion to remove Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer from committee duties.

Miss Taylor "categorically denies" the allegations, while Mr Tyrer says they are "completely untrue and unfounded".

In protest at the controversial proposal, the remaining seven councillors chose not to attend the meeting, while more than 50 people demonstrated peacefully in Queen's Square.

Having raised concerns over Miss Taylor and Mr Tyrer's alleged treatment of the council staff it represents, workers union Unite has welcomed the decision to uphold its complaint.

Members of the public descended on an Attleborough Town Council meeting, which had barred the public and press. Photo: Bethany WalesMembers of the public descended on an Attleborough Town Council meeting, which had barred the public and press. Photo: Bethany Wales

The council resolved to revoke Miss Taylor and Mr Tyrer's appointment as vice chairman and deputy mayor of Attleborough respectively and remove them from all committee and working groups for two years. They would not be allowed to stand for vice chairman or mayor for a two year period.

Miles Hubbard, the union's regional officer, said: "We welcome that common sense has prevailed and that the town council, after receiving legal advice, has upheld Unite's complaint that our members were bullied and badly treated by a small minority of councillors."

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As Thursday's adjourned meeting took place, eight hired security guards prevented the public and press from entering the town hall, while police officers were on standby in Queen's Square as a precaution.

Ed Tyrer has been removed from duties by Attleborough Town Council following claims that he says are “completely untrue and unfoundedEd Tyrer has been removed from duties by Attleborough Town Council following claims that he says are “completely untrue and unfounded". Picture: Attleborough Town Council

In a statement, Unite said security had been brought in to "prevent a repeat" of last Monday's meeting, which they say featured members of the public "shouting down" councillors with whom they disagreed.

Miss Taylor, who continues to fight the allegations, said she was not surprised at the town council's latest decision.

"The eight councillors had already decided the outcome before walking in the room," she added.

"I am going to keep challenging this because I don't think due process has been followed and they have gone about this in the right way at all.

"The security they hired and legal advice they are taking is worthy of publicity in itself, simply due to the absolute waste of taxpayers' money. They are throwing money away."

After the meeting, Attleborough Town Mayor Tony Crouch said; "It's a shame it had to get to this point but the bullying of staff was so bad staff were going off sick and there was a real worry the council would soon be unable to function."

A new election of vice chairman and deputy mayor be held at a later date.

Mr Tyrer has been contacted for comment.


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