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Parish council clerk hits back over tribunal

Karen Treacher
Karen Treacher

A parish council clerk who was criticised in an employment tribunal judgement has denied any wrongdoing.

Karen Treacher, who is clerk to Long Sutton and Tydd St Mary Parish Councils, was under fire for over her role with Terrington St Clement.

Earlier this month, a judge said he was satisfied Miss Treacher had told a cleaner “ignorance is bliss” when a defective fire alarm was raised with her.

But Miss Treacher says she continues to refute that ruling and is pursuing her own legal action over how the case was handled.

She said: “The people I have worked with over the 24 years I have been a clerk and who know me would never believe I would ever knowingly put anyone at risk of death.”

She claims she was misrepresented at the tribunal hearing and has provided evidence to the council that clears her.

She added that the council’s office had been closed until further notice because of concerns for her safety.

The parish council was ordered to pay more than £2,000 in compensation to its former cleaner, Lindsey Miles, after an employment tribunal concluded she had been unfairly dismissed from her role.

Last week, Miss Miles and her friend Cheryl Thompson attempted to raise the issue at a parish council meeting, which was adjourned as a result.

Miss Treacher claimed the intervention had been “staged” in a bid to humiliate her and individual councillors.

She said Miss Miles was not sacked for the reasons given to the tribunal and that mediation had been offered, both through the council and the conciliation service ACAS, but this was rejected.

Miss Treacher has previously agreed a confidential settlement with Sutton Bridge Parish Council, for whom she was a clerk, before a dispute with it went to a tribunal.

She said she had also experienced being the subject of “campaigns and staged events” in the past.

She said: “In my experience, such actions are normally acted out by people to create smoke and mirrors in order to cover up the fact that they have been caught out, they have something to hide or it is they who have done wrong.

“I or the council have little or no avenue to respond to such personal attacks.”

But she added: “It has been, and is, a privilege to work with some great councillors and residents who have their communities at heart and have no agendas.

“It has been, and is, a pleasure to work with them to do the best for the communities we all work on behalf of.”


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