Resignation demand as Burke accused of “unfounded innuendo” and “misinformed allegations”
Suggestions of a rapprochement between the Parish Council and CCA may be premature. Despite the agreement of the Parish to fund a CCA initiative, CCA secretary Cllr Charles Burke received a blasting from colleagues … and a call for him to resign.
Official minutes from the last full meeting of the parish on November 5 accused Burke of “unfounded innuendo” and “misinformed allegations”. Vice-chair Ray Angell went as far as to call for Cllr Burke to resign.
The angry exchange was prompted by discussion on “questions regarding the running of the Parish Council” emailed to Cllr Peter Hood two months ago, just days before Leslie Jarrett stepped down with his own accusations of bullying.
Minutes show that Cllr Hood emailed back to promise a discussion on Burke’s points but did not provide the written response requested.
The ensuing discussion seems to have been one-sided with minutes suggesting Cllr Burke withdrew “to attend a bonfire”.
The CCA’s long-standing fundraising event at St Thomas’ Church in aid of the Youth Club coincided with the meeting, on Guy Fawke’s Night.
Councillors expressed their dismay and disappointment at the unfounded innuendos contained within those questions, together with the misinformed allegations from a Councillor who had not attended any meetings or Council commitments for the preceding five months.
While the minutes direct a severe ticking-off at Cllr Burke it’s not clear whether councillors collectively issued the reprimand or whether the views expressed were those of outspoken clerk Roland Hewson. No vote was taken and the unusually harsh language was not attributed to any specific individual.
Hewson this week took the opportunity to lash out at the inaction of CCA members who double-hat as councillors.
… those councillors who are also members of the CCA do not make a contribution
He also accused Mr Jarrett of hiding behind emails instead of speaking up in council meetings, in comments posted on this website relating to the CCP’s apparent automatic grant of taxpayer funds.
Cllr Burke has so far refused to be drawn on the spat but says his position may have to change.
He has also refused to comment on his poor attendance which is confirmed by official meeting minutes. Currently at the top of a Colnbrook Views poll of “most effective councillors” with a long lead, the revelation that he is not actively participating in parish politics could be a blow to his reputation.
Burke says he may publish his letter if answers are not forthcoming as he believes the council has serious questions to answer. He would not confirm if he has also made a Code of Conduct complaint to SBC’s Standards Committee.
Former councillor Leslie Jarrett is understood to have centred on bullying and intimidation claims in his complaint, which has been acknowledged by Kevin Gordon, Assistant Director Professional Services & Monitoring Office at Slough Borough Council.