Chairman of Melbourn Parish Council resigns following community outrage over censorship surrounding serious complaint

PUBLISHED: 10:13 02 August 2016 | UPDATED: 10:13 02 August 2016

Melbourn Parish Council chairman Bob Tulloch has resigned. Credit: Clive Porter

Melbourn Parish Council chairman Bob Tulloch has resigned. Credit: Clive Porter

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Four members of Melbourn Parish Council, including chairman Bob Tulloch, resigned yesterday amid a scandal surrounding a serious complaint to do with the council.

Bob Tulloch, Kimmi Crosby, Mike Linnette, and Irene Bloomfield have all resigned with immediate effect after members of the public lost faith in the conduct of the council – but the grievance panel report at the centre of the scandal remains unpublished.

About 150 members of the public attended a parish council meeting last Monday to voice concerns about the transparency of the parish council, after the findings of the grievance panel were rejected by it – prompting the resignations of councillors Jose Hales, Julie Norman and John Regan earlier in the year.

Jose, who serves as a district councillor for Melbourn, Heydon and the Chishills, said: “I’m pleased that the councillors have resigned, but I would like to see a by-election of the full council – so the community can elect a council that it’s going to be confident in.

“I hope the four resignations are the beginning of a process that will enable the community to trust the parish council. I have been for some time extremely concerned with the governance of Melbourn Parish Council. It has been expressed quite clearly by the residents who have attended various parish council meetings in the last two months, that the public demands a change of council. I can only hope that the parish council submits to this request and hold a by-election.”

Melbourn County Councillor Susan van de Ven said: “Residents should always be able to trust that their elected representatives will be open and honest with them.

“The very serious matter that has been concealed and which has paralysed the parish council will soon be fully known through Freedom of Information requests. The four resignations received yesterday are a welcome step.

“An election for all seats on the council is needed for a true fresh start.”

Commenting on her website last week, Susan said: “The unpublished report by the grievance panel and the refusal of the council to act in a transparent manner now dominates parish council meetings, to the extent that public business is not being conducted. The seriousness of the complaint that prompted the commissioning of the report and the complete collapse of public confidence in the parish council as its most direct representative body – levying a parish tax and making important decisions on behalf of everyone in the village – have resulted in total paralysis.”

The Crow has put in an FOI request to the parish council to publish the details of the report.

Melbourn Parish Council will hold an extraordinary meeting on Monday at 7.15pm at Melbourn Village College Lecture Room.

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