Labour calls for Chard resignations
Terry Ledlie, Chair of Yeovil Constituency Labour Party, has commented today on the bullying scandal at Chard Town Council. Mr Ledlie told us “This is a shocking scandal. Those who have presided over this are clearly not fit to serve Chard. The report has been censored by the council to avoid naming the guilty parties. They have clearly broken most of the Nolan principles that are supposed to ensure that councillors behave openly and with integrity. This cover-up is simply not good enough. I call on those who have behaved so appallingly to do the right thing for the town and resign immediately.”
Mr Ledlie was commenting on the Rolley report into bullying at Chard Town Council. Last month The Leveller broke the story of how the report was being covered up (see https://leveller.live/2023/03/29/chard-town-council-uproar/) . Then we revealed the content of the report that the council had tried to redact before publication.
The report clearly indicates that the bullying was largely the responsibility of three councillors. The Leveller knows who those councillors are, but has chosen not to name them for the time being.
Mr Ledlie notes: “Labour believes that everybody should be treated fairly and with dignity. Labour councillors would pledge to support and develop staff properly. Not only is this a moral duty for councillors but it would also avoid the instability and massive costs foolishly incurred by the failing Lib-Dem -led regime.”
The Leveller does not entirely agree with looking at this as a party political issue. Yes the LibDems are the majority party in Chard. But no decent LibDem councillor would ever countenance bullying, in this council or any other. We would expect any decent councillor, regardless of their political affiliation to want to stamp out bullying.
It is incumbent on all councillors on Chard Town Council to act now. The bullies should resign. If not, town councillors regardless of their political affiliation should call for their resignation.
To fail to do so, would be to condone the behaviour of the bullies. And that is no more a policy supported by the LibDems as a political party, than it is by any other political party. If the bullies do not resign, we would hope that local LibDem leaders will come out and condemn their behaviour.
And as Mr Ledlie suggests, that has cost the taxpayers of Chard dear. Mr Ledlie in his statement notes: “Local residents are also up in arms at the spiralling cost of legal advice and pay-offs to ex-council staff, which is estimated to have reached £220,000. This amounts to about a third of the council’s yearly tax precept.”