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Bingham Town Council improvement board hopes to draw line under 'dreadful' behaviour



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It is hoped the setting up of an improvement board to drive change at a town council will draw a line under 'dreadful' behaviour.

The board has been set up at Bingham Town Council after two members were expelled from the Conservative Party for harassing the clerk.

The board will deliver an action plan and aims to enhance public confidence in the council.

Bingham Town Council offices. Picture: Bingham Town Council (49926214)
Bingham Town Council offices. Picture: Bingham Town Council (49926214)

It comes after a petition signed by hundreds of residents asked for the council to be dissolved over the bullying allegations and culture at the authority.

Former mayor John Stockwood and current deputy mayor Francis Purdue-Horan were expelled from the party and are now independents.

Plans for the board were met with optimism at Rushcliffe’s full council meeting on December 2.

Deputy mayor Francis Purdue-Horan. Picture: Bingham Town Council
Deputy mayor Francis Purdue-Horan. Picture: Bingham Town Council

Member Mike Gaunt said the Labour group hoped the board would help draw a line under the dreadful behaviour and culture of bullying.

He also questioned the what he called a missed opportunity to recruit female members to the board.

Leader of the council Simon Robinson said: “I am absolutely delighted to bring to you tonight that we have managed to recruit three very highly talented and highly skilled people to serve on that board.

Former mayor John Stockwood. Picture: Bingham Town Council
Former mayor John Stockwood. Picture: Bingham Town Council

“We are confident this improvement board has the skills and experience to address very significant issues at Bingham and that we will see huge improvement as we go forward.”

Former chief executive of Bassetlaw District Council Neil Taylor, chief executive of the National Association of Local Councils Jonathan Owen and advisor at the Local Government Association David Pye will sit on the board.

Councillors Rowan Bird and Gareth Williams will represent Bingham Town Council on the board.

Bingham Market Place. (42954219)
Bingham Market Place. (42954219)

Mr Gaunt said: “We are very pleased to see progress towards the formation of this improvement board.

“Hopefully this can draw a line under the dreadful behaviour and culture of bullying that has occurred in Bingham over such a long period of time.

“I would like to point out that there seems to be a slightly missed opportunity here with the appointment of an entirely-male board.”

Rushcliffe member Lizzie Howitt said: “We are happy that progress is being made and hope that this will result in a more harmonious town council which will hopefully be better equipped to serve the needs of its community.

“We would also like to thank those who brought forward the petition highlighting the issue.”

Andy Edyvean added: “Of course, we support inclusivity. What we want to do is make sure that is the best board we can put together, with the right experience. It is a shame that there may not be any women on it but I would like to see that in the future as well.”

A budget of £10,000 to support the plans will be funded equally by Bingham and Rushcliffe.

Councillors unanimously passed the recommendation to deliver the board.

An update on the progress will be brought to the council in summer 2022.



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