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Committee to investigate ‘bullying’ row which threw council into disarray

PUBLISHED: 06:34 04 July 2020

A committee has been set up to investigate the row which saw Attleborough town councillors Taila Taylor (left) and Ed Tyrer (right) accused of

A committee has been set up to investigate the row which saw Attleborough town councillors Taila Taylor (left) and Ed Tyrer (right) accused of "harassment, bullying and intimidation�. Picture: Sonya Duncan/Breckland Council/ATC

Sonya Duncan/Breckland Council/ATC

A committee has been formed to investigate the long-running saga which saw town councillors accused of “bullying” council staff.

Police were called to a meeting of Attleborough Town Council in February as eight councillors backed a motion to remove Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer from committee duties. Picture: ArchantPolice were called to a meeting of Attleborough Town Council in February as eight councillors backed a motion to remove Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer from committee duties. Picture: Archant

Attleborough Town Council says its Investigation Committee has been set up to “seek the resolution of ongoing staffing issues”.

The panel’s formation comes after a heated row resulted in two councillors, Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer, being stripped of their committee roles over claims of “harassment, bullying and intimidation” - allegations they strongly denied.

The dispute split the 15-strong council in two, with eight members - including the mayor, Tony Crouch - supporting the motion against Miss Taylor and deputy mayor Mr Tyrer when it was tabled in February.

But protestors leapt to the pair’s defence and, at a parish meeting in March, around 200 people demanded a parish poll which could eventually see voters call for the resignation of the entire council.

Security blocked the public and press from entering Attleborough Town Hall in February 2020 as the future of Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer was discussed. Picture: ArchantSecurity blocked the public and press from entering Attleborough Town Hall in February 2020 as the future of Taila Taylor and Ed Tyrer was discussed. Picture: Archant

More than three months later, ATC said it hoped the committee would “return harmony and effectiveness to the council” and allow it to “concentrate on serving Attleborough”.

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Miss Taylor, who has been consulting a solicitor, added: “I’m pleased the council has acknowledged the decision made on February 27 was unlawful and consequently made a further decision to set it aside on June 22.

“Matters relating to the decision in February are still being progressed by my solicitor.”

Taila Taylor with fellow Attleborough town councillor Lucan Grave, who voted against the motion to remove Miss Taylor and Ed Tyrer from committee positions. Picture: ArchantTaila Taylor with fellow Attleborough town councillor Lucan Grave, who voted against the motion to remove Miss Taylor and Ed Tyrer from committee positions. Picture: Archant

The four-strong committee is comprised of councillors Andy Westby, Philip Leslie, Bill Loades and Jacqueline Roper, with the latter pair among the eight who backed the motion against their council colleagues.

Mr Leslie, chairman of the committee, said further updates would be issued in due course.

In its statement, ATC said: “This committee has been appointed delegated powers on the instruction of solicitors to investigate and advise on litigation matters and seek the resolution of ongoing staffing issues affecting the council.

“The committee has the authority to make decisions in the best interests of the council in respect of the ongoing management of these proceedings. Members will act impartially when considering legal advice and what action to take.

A meeting at Connaught Hall in March voted almost unanimously for a parish poll asking whether Attleborough''s town councillors should resign. Picture: Taila TaylorA meeting at Connaught Hall in March voted almost unanimously for a parish poll asking whether Attleborough''s town councillors should resign. Picture: Taila Taylor

“We sincerely hope these actions will return harmony and effectiveness to the council and allow it to concentrate on serving the town of Attleborough and its community as we move into a time of growth and opportunity.”

Mr Tyrer has been contacted for comment.


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