These two councillors - Liz Harvey and Andrew Harrison - have been themselves hounded by the Council and put through an illegal kangaroo court to find them guilty. The Chief Legal (Monitoring) Officer at Herefordshire Council has repeatedly requested that LTC desist from its illegal process, citing the Localism Act 2011 to justify her position.
This evening at the Community Hall at 7.30 (opposite the swimming pool), the Council holds its Annual Town Meeting where the next Mayor will be chosen. In this forum, the current mayor, Annette Crowe, has let it be known that Liz and Drew will be publicly castigated and is hoping that as many people as possible will come along to witness the spectacle.
Annette Crowe has worked hard for the town over the years, but in this, she has acted with very poor judgement in shoring up council incompetence, mismanagement and financial profligacy.
According to Mrs Crowe, council staff have threatened Ledbury Town Council with legal action if they did not find against Cllrs Harrison and Harvey. The result has been a disgraceful miscarriage of justice, which may itself lead to the Council being sued for defamation and harassment.
Last week, LTC voted to write to all local organisations and groups denouncing the two councillors. Again the Monitoring Officer has warned them strongly not to do this until she has concluded her own independent investigation into all the circumstances of this affair, including multiple breaches of the Councillor Code of Conduct by the Mayor and two thirds of the Council.
Does Ledbury Town Council ever listen to sound advice?
Liz Harvey has written to friends in the town and says:
"A fortnight ago, at the annual town meeting I made a public statement regarding what I believe to be serious maladministration in Ledbury Town Council (see attached along with a statement I have prepared for tomorrow). Areas of concern include the handling of public money, the non-declaration of interests in planning matters and the withholding of information from councillors and from members of the original Neighbourhood Plan.
In response to the questions I and others have asked, blocking action have been taken by those involved to avoid acknowledgement and to prevent correction of these matters.
At [tonight's] meeting it seems likely that councillors intend to predetermine the outcome of independent investigations currently commissioned by the solicitor to Herefordshire Council. Instead, it is proposed to ban me and another respected and trustworthy councillor from participating in council business for at least 12 months.
This public ‘shaming’ is intended to intimidate us and to stop us from asking questions in the public interest.
This is further illegal action which will put public money at risk and will damage both personal and corporate reputations.
Councillors have been repeatedly requested by one of the UK’s leading barristers and by the county council’s solicitor to desist from this course of action, to no effect.
I would be most grateful if you can make time to attend this meeting and to witness the debate for yourself.”
Liz and Drew are intending to read out personal statements explaining how they have been so grievously treated; it is likely that they will have to wait until the meeting is concluded before this can happen; they hope that by showing dignity and forbearance in the face of such vindictive and politically conspiratorial behaviour, local residents will gain an insight into the truly awful culture of Ledbury Town Council.