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Ludlow Town Council clerk was ‘forced to quit’
6:00am Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
VERONICA Calderbank has told an industrial tribunal that she resigned after being berated by one councillor and receiving an email from another threatening to report her to the police.
She is claiming that she was constructively and unfairly dismissed from her job at Ludlow Town Council.
The former town clerk, who resigned in June 2012 and left the following September, is representing herself at an employment tribunal in Birmingham.
She is also alleging that she suffered discrimination because of a disability that caused severe back pain.
The tribunal heard that Mrs Calderbank believes that there were 12 incidents of breach of contract between May 2011 and her resignation at the end of June the following year.
Mrs Calderbank told Judge Rohan Pirani that in addition to working from 9am to 5pm she was required to take part in meetings lasting up to three hours after the normal working day.
She gave evidence to the tribunal that in some instances it was necessary to work 13 hours a day with five hour meetings on 'numerous' occasions.
"I was in agony in some meetings but was not allowed to leave," she said.
Mrs Calderbank claimed that at one meeting she had had to get up and walk out but had returned to find Councillor John Aitken annoyed.
"There were pre-meetings before agenda meetings, briefings and post agenda meetings," said Mrs Calderbank.
She says that her position was undermined and named former mayor John Aitken and former deputy mayors Jeffrey Wilcox and Vivienne Parry as those doing so.
The former town clerk alleges that the council was aware of her disability but failed to make any adjustments such as having shorter meetings and allowing breaks.
It is alleged that in the days leading up to her resignation she received a number of emails from former town councillor Jennifer Leyton-Purrier and was 'berated' by Councillor Vivienne Parry.
Mrs Calderbank said there were many problems when she became town clerk but she believes she had done a good job.
"I had no idea what this job entailed when I took this job. It was unlike anything I had done before,"
she added. "When I got into the job there was not even a filing system."
But the former town clerk believes she had done a good job including turning around the market and making it a success.
The case continues and is scheduled to last 15 days.