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MP Norman Baker calls for resignation of Seaford Town Council’s town clerk
An MP has called on council bosses to suspend a town clerk over accusations the local authority is “out of control”.
Norman Baker, MP for Lewes, has asked the leader of Seaford Town Council to suspend the town clerk, Sam Shippen, following weeks of damaging allegations.
They include accusations of bullying, incompetence and infighting at the council as well as an incident where police were called to remove a member of public from a meeting.
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It is also said former mayor Anthony White attempted to rescind his resignation – only to be told it was too late. Councillor Mark Brown has since been elected as the new mayor of Seaford at the reconvened full council meeting, following the resignation of Coun White.
Mr Baker has previously accused the council of giving an “extraordinary amount of decision-making to the town clerk” which was “unwise and undemocratic”.
Mr Baker said: “Given the nature and number of detailed allegations made, there has to be a proper inquiry and for that to occur, it is the correct procedure to suspend the town clerk on full pay and on a neutral basis.
That is in the interests of everyone, including the town clerk herself.
“There are huge problems at Seaford Town Council, yet the Tory leadership seems to believe it can simply plough on and the problems will go away, but they won’t.”
Mr Baker expressed sympathy for coun White and praised coun Sam Adeniji for his “honesty and courage.”
The MP has already contacted the district auditor to ask for a full and independent investigation.
However, the town council has stated it would conduct an internal investigation into the events of the past few months.
Neither the leader of the council Paul Franklin nor Mrs Shippen were available for comment.
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