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Former clerk wins £72,000 from Ludlow Town Council in unfair dismissal case

South Shropshire | News | Published:

Ludlow Town Council has been ordered to pay out more than £70,000 in compensation to its former clerk.

Veronica Calderbank won a claim for unfair dismissal against the town council in December at the end of a month-long employment tribunal hearing in Birmingham.

During the dispute Mrs Calderbank accused former council members of bullying and claimed she was left with no choice but to quit her role in June 2012, after being asked to work long hours without a break, despite a crippling back problem.

Her claim for constructive unfair dismissal was upheld, though a claim the council did not make "reasonable adjustments" for her back problem was dismissed, and a claim for direct disability discrimination was withdrawn by Mrs Calderbank herself.

Now a remedy hearing has ordered she be paid £72,300 in compensation for the loss of her job.

Mrs Calderbank said: "I feel personally vindicated.

"I've got the maximum compensation anyone can have, but it's taxpayers money, that's what really hurts me.

"The bottom line for me is that they're very, very lucky – they would have been ordered to pay £94,000 but it was capped, so they've saved about £20,000."

She said her treatment during her employment made her physically ill.

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"Councillors made my life very uncomfortable at the end, I'd just had enough.

"But I kept my dignity and kept quiet," she said, "I got on with the job, I never let my disability stop me, but I am the third clerk to my knowledge that has left.

She said she was now setting up her own company, Interim Legal Services, providing services for local authorities.

The tribunal also decided against ordering the town council to give Mrs Calderbank her job back.

In the minutes of the private meeting of Ludlow Town Council it had been said that reinstating her would create an "unworkable situation".

Current Ludlow Town Council Clerk Gina Wilding, who was praised by Mrs Calderbank, said a statement by the authority could not be issued until the matter was discussed at a full council meeting.

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