Councillor suspended over wife’s pay talks

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A LOCAL councillor has been suspended after taking part in discussions concerning the clerk’s salary, who at the time was his wife.

Councillor Tony Williams, of Sancton Parish Council, has also been suspended for allegedly being disrespectful to two people who wanted a post box removed from their property in Sancton which used to be a post office.

Mike Leach and Sharan Harvey-Leach complained to East Riding Council after Coun Williams allegedly refused to leave a parish council meeting where his wife’s salary was discussed.

At a recent standards committee hearing, Coun Williams was judged to have had prejudicial interests that he did not declare.

Mr Leach and Mrs Harvey-Leach also complained to East Riding Council after Coun Williams wrote a letter to them which said the post box, attached to their property, could not be closed until a new one could be installed somewhere else in the village. They felt the letter was bullying and showed a lack of respect.

Before this, the complainants had received a letter from Royal Mail saying they could either leave the box where it was or have it removed.

Mrs Harvey-Leach wrote back asking for it to be closed.

The complainants also said Coun Williams wrote a second letter which he posted on two village notice boards that they also felt was bullying and showed them a lack of respect.

In addition, Mr Leach and Mrs Harvey-Leach stated that Coun Williams circulated information, which he received due to his position as Parish Chairman, to both parish and non-parish council members.

In doing this they said he brought his position into disrepute, failed to show them respect and attempted to bully them.

At the hearing, it was decided that Coun Williams had failed to treat Mr Leach and Mrs Harvey-Leach with respect but had not bullied the complainants or brought his position into disrepute.

Coun Williams said he is disappointed to have been told the comments he made in the letter to Mr Leach and Mrs Harvey-Leach were disrespectful but accepts he was wrong not to declare a personal interest. He said: “I put my hand up to that, I did not declare.

“The declaration of interest is a matter of fact I cannot do anything about that.

“The comments were not intended to be disrespectful. In that respect I am disappointed.”

Coun Williams has been suspended until 31 January..