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‘What goes around comes around’ - outgoing mayor launches staggering attack on councillors and residents

PUBLISHED: 08:37 21 July 2020 | UPDATED: 13:07 22 July 2020

Tony Crouch time as Attleborough mayor and chairman of the town council has come to an end. Picture: Archant

Tony Crouch time as Attleborough mayor and chairman of the town council has come to an end. Picture: Archant

Archant Norfolk Photographic © 2016

A town council left in turmoil following a series of bitter rows has elected a new leadership duo - after the outgoing mayor launched a staggering attack on councillors and residents.

Members of Attleborough Town Council have elected a new mayor and deputy mayor. Picture: ArchantMembers of Attleborough Town Council have elected a new mayor and deputy mayor. Picture: Archant

Philip Leslie and Beverley Bulmer were appointed mayor and deputy mayor respectively during an extraordinary meeting of Attleborough Town Council on Monday (July 20) evening.

Mr Leslie’s bid was uncontested as eight members voted in favour of him becoming mayor. Three councillors voted against and the remaining four abstained.

More than 200 residents watched a live stream of the meeting to see Mrs Bulmer come out on top ahead of Andy Westby, by a margin of eight votes to seven.

Monday night’s election, which should have taken place in May but was delayed amid the coronavirus pandemic, saw the premiership of outgoing mayor Tony Crouch come to an end, while Ed Tyrer is no longer deputy mayor.

Philip Leslie has become the new mayor of Attleborough. Picture: New Anglia LEPPhilip Leslie has become the new mayor of Attleborough. Picture: New Anglia LEP

Mr Crouch’s term as mayor was dominated by disputes and in-fighting, principally the saga which saw Mr Tyrer and fellow councillor, Taila Taylor, accused of “bullying” council staff.

The pair have always denied the allegations and a committee has been set up to investigate the saga.

As recently as a fortnight ago, eight councillors demanded the mayor’s resignation after he controversially called off a council meeting just two minutes before it was due to begin.

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And in his exit speech, Mr Crouch slammed councillors and residents seeking to “destroy” the town council.

“It has been an interesting year as mayor - extremely busy and extremely challenging,” he said. “I wish to thank all the residents and some of the councillors who have supported me.

“To the councillors who have done all they can to destroy this council and the few residents supporting them, I say: what goes around, comes around.

“I am sure the investigation will reveal the truth and make very interesting reading for our residents.”

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In contrast, Mr Leslie’s speech as incoming mayor was laced with positivity and he emphasised the need to learn from mistakes.

“It’s important that we use this to mark the beginning of a new era,” added Mr Leslie.

“This is an opportunity for us to move forward, discover what went wrong and notify residents of the processes that have led to what has happened.

“What is also important is to evaluate why we have been as dysfunctional as we have. What I seek to do is empower councillors in their ability to make a real difference and change.”


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