Councillor quits and accuses mayor of 'bullying and belittling' him

Swaffham deputy mayor Keith Sandle took matters into his own hands at a recent WAW Wrestling event.

Swaffham deputy mayor Keith Sandle took matters into his own hands at a recent WAW Wrestling event. Picture: Archant - Credit: Archant

A former deputy mayor has resigned from his post and accused the mayor of "bullying and belittlement"  at meetings.

Keith Sandle has announced that he will be stepping down as a Swaffham town councillor.

Mayor of Swaffham Jill Skinner. Photo: Richard Bishop/Swaffham Town Council

Mayor of Swaffham Jill Skinner. - Credit: Richard Bishop/Swaffham Town Council

In an email sent on December 10 to Swaffham mayor Jill Skinner, he said he decided to resign due to allegations of bullying, which she has strongly denied.

The email, which was published as part of a Swaffham Town Council agenda for a meeting on Wednesday January 13, said: "It is with deep regret and a heavy heart that I have decided to resign as a Swaffham town councillor.

"The reason lies squarely at your feet. I will no longer tolerate the contempt that you show me or the way you constantly belittle me in meetings.

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"I think that perhaps before you accuse others of bullying you should look with yourself."

In response to the email, also printed in the agenda, Mrs Skinner said: "I cannot accept responsibility for your feeling that you need to resign from the council, it is your personal choice to do so, these have been difficult times for us all and some have reacted or coped better than others.

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"I have never belittled you or any other councillor. I always act in a respectful way towards everyone.

"I am very sad to lose you as a councillor and that it has not lived up to your expectations.

"Public life in local government can be the biggest challenge for all of who remain councillors."

Mr Sandle resigned from his deputy mayor position in October 2020 due to home and work commitments.

Judy Anscombe was chosen as the new deputy mayor.

The resignation will be discussed at the full council meeting on January 13.

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