Town clerk set to retire

THE town clerk of a controversial council - made famous after a group pledging its abolition swept to power - is quitting her job to take early retirement.

Will Clarke

THE town clerk of a controversial council - made famous after a group pledging its abolition swept to power - is quitting her job to take early retirement.

Linda Sherer has been at Bury St Edmunds Town Council for the past four years but she now intends to take early retirement.

In a statement, Ms Sherer said: “I have requested and kindly been granted early retirement from Bury Town Council effective from March 31, 2008. It arose out of my saying, jokingly at first, to the town council chairman (Roy Bebbington) that he had taken early retirement from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and seemed to be enjoying it - so could I be considered for this?

“The council has kindly agreed to the request which has gone through officially to the Suffolk County Council pension fund. It has been a privilege to work in Bury for the past four-and-a-half years and I am so pleased that the Town Council will be continuing, albeit downsized.

“I am looking forward to riding my horses and visiting my son in Australia which is a magnificent country. I used to live and work there and thoroughly enjoyed it - lots of sunshine and wide open spaces.”

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Her decision comes just weeks after a confidential report, leaked to the EADT, was drawn up for the council by the Suffolk Association of Local Councils (SALC).

The report claimed the council had been involved in a series of spats and internal disputes since its inception in 2003, culminating in the elections last May in which the Abolish Bury Town Council (ABC) group took control.

The SALC report claimed the council was “obsessed by pomp, plays out petty power-based squabbles in the press, uses procedures as weapons, is beset with problems deriving from a lack of support from St Edmundsbury Borough Council and which has a clerk who is too powerful”.

It went on to say: “The town council could also have handled its own development with more care and caution.”

Mrs Sherer said she did not recognise the portrayal of the council in the report but stressed it was still being considered by the council: “I have submitted my response to the council on each aspect of the report and I cannot comment further until they are considered by the full council.”

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