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Former Ludlow town clerk wins her unfair dismissal fight

South Shropshire | News | Published:

A former town council clerk has won her claim for unfair dismissal – and councillors have been told they may be ordered to give her job back.

Veronica Calderbank

Veronica Calderbank quit her role at Ludlow Town Council in June last year, claiming she was left with no choice after being asked to work long hours without a break, despite councillors knowing she had a crippling back problem

At the end of a month-long employment tribunal hearing in Birmingham, it was ruled she had been unfairly constructively dismissed.

A hearing to assess the amount of money she will be awarded has been set for February 18. Judge Rohan Pirani suggested Mrs Calderbank might want her job back in view of the substantial losses in salary and pension, and told Councillor Jim Smithers, Ludlow's mayor, and Councillor Nick Holcombe: "We as a tribunal can order you to reinstate her."

Mrs Calderbank, who now lives in Cheshire, said: "I am delighted with the findings and they exposed a lot of unacceptable behaviour that took place in the past over many years in Ludlow against staff members and not just against me."

She said when she joined the town council it did not have a filing system, finances were "a mess", the market was in need of replacement, and there was a spate of burglaries where data and hard discs were stolen.

"During difficult times I was, with my superb team, able to create a fit-for-purpose successful town council and market," she said – but it was in an atmosphere of bullying and harassment from certain councillors.

She also claimed £300,000 of townspeople's money was wasted over the years on contractors advising on the market and Linney, and on grass cutting, but she says she was frowned upon for exposing these issues.

The former clerk said she felt vindicated and hoped that with the new councillors it would never happen again.

Gina Wilding, current clerk of Ludlow Town Council, said a special meeting was being held tomorrow at 7pm for members to receive advice and discuss the outcomes of the tribunal, but until then they could not comment further.

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