Town council facing judicial review over handling of staff grievances

Three members of Andover Town Council are expected to issue a judicial review challenge against it in a complex dispute over staffing and the conduct of meetings.

Cllr Christopher Ecclestone told Local Government Lawyer that the dispute concerned how staff grievances had been dealt with and that some councillors including him felt they had been improperly silenced during online meetings.

The Andover Advertiser has reported that he intends to lodge a complaint with the monitoring officer at Test Valley Borough Council - which covers the Andover area - and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government after four councillors were excluded from a meeting that discussed how to respond to the prospect of judicial review. Members of the press and public were also excluded from the meeting.

Tracey Predeth, Locum Clerk for the town council, said: "The Council is of course disappointed at the possibility of becoming involved in legal proceedings for judicial review, as would any local authority, however at this stage I believe it would be inappropriate for the Council to make any further comment."

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Mark Smulian

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