Exclusive: Sudbury town clerk suspended pending an investigation

Sue Brotherwood, Sudbury town clerk, outside the town hall.

Sue Brotherwood, Sudbury town clerk, outside the town hall. - Credit: Archant

A town clerk who has been in the role for 20 years has told of her “disbelief and anger” at being suspended from the job pending a council investigation.

Sudbury town clerk Sue Brotherwood has been suspended on full pay because of a “procedural” matter.

She claims she was asked to leave the Town Hall offices in Gaol Lane on December 23 and told not to return until the council had been able to look into allegations about her work.

Meanwhile, an email has been sent out to town councillors informing them of the situation.

Mrs Brotherwood said she was suspended two days before Christmas “without being given a chance to speak up for myself”.

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“I have done nothing wrong and after 20 years of loyal service, I am angry and absolutely devastated – I cannot believe I could be treated in this way.”

Sudbury mayor Adrian Osborne confirmed that a private and confidential email had been sent out to members over the weekend about the suspension, which concerned procedural and policy matters.

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He said: “It is with regret that the town council has found the need to suspend the town clerk on full pay while an investigation takes place.

“All members have been made aware of this and what we need to do.

“It is an extremely sensitive situation and not an easy one for any of the councillors because the town clerk is highly respected.

“The town council has a team of very efficient and committed officers and will continue to offer the same high standard of service.

“We hope this matter can be resolved as soon as possible.”

A Department for Communities and Local Government spokesman confirmed that town and parish councils are required to carry out their own initial investigations into procedural irregularities.

Mrs Brotherwood, who was due to retire from the post in four years, said she had contacted the Society of Local Council Clerks and was taking advice from their solicitor on how to proceed.

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