Covid rule-breaking mayor 'should stand down'
- Credit: Archant
Great Yarmouth's mayor should stand down if an investigation finds she broke Covid rules, the opposition leader has said.
Sue Hacon, mayor of Great Yarmouth Borough Council (GYBC), admitted to breaking Covid rules when she went out despite family member being Covid-positive and was suspended from the Conservative group on Thursday.
The announcement was made at a meeting of the full council by the GYBC leader Carl Smith.
Speaking after the meeting, Labour group leader, Trevor Wainright said he would be calling for Ms Hacon to stand down if an investigation found she had broken the rules.
"We are asking people to follow the guidance and she has quite clearly failed the guidance that we are giving out to residents.
"The cases are going up and the situation in the borough is getting worse.
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"How can you ask residents to follow the rules when the mayor won't do it?
"There's no excuse, none whatsoever.
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"She's the 'first citizen of the borough', she should set an example."
Mr Smith, leader of the Conservative group, said he had acted swiftly in issuing a suspension and now has to follow group procedures.
"I have to investigate what has gone on and I will present my findings to Sue and the group.
"There's a procedure in place that's laid down in the rules.
"I will need to call a meeting [of the group] within 21 days.
"I will do my bit first and then it will go down the chain, I can only deal with the group issues."
Mr Smith said Ms Hacon will have the chance to respond to the allegations and has the right to appeal any decision.
The council leader would not speculate on the outcome but said there are a range of sanctions available if rules have been broken.
Responding to Mr Wainwright's call for Ms Hacon to stand down if the investigation is proved, Mr Smith said that would have to be a decision for the mayor.
Mr Smith said he expected to have a meeting about the findings with his group within seven to 10 days.
On social media, the majority of comments said Ms Hacon should lead by example, with some calling for her resignation.
"No wonder our Covid case numbers are going up here in Great Yarmouth," one person said.
"I don't want another lockdown because of idiots not being sensible.
"Yes, we've got to learn to live with this but we still need to be careful."