Posted: Sat 30th Mar 2019

Council leader dismisses claims made by sacked deputy Bernie Attridge

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Saturday, Mar 30th, 2019

Claims made by former deputy leader of Flintshire Council that he was sacked from his cabinet role for standing up for a council employee have been dismissed by the council leader this morning.

Cllr Bernie Attridge was removed from his post as cabinet member for housing and deputy leader by council leader Cllr Aaron Shotton earlier this week after being accused of a ‘recent and significant’ case of releasing private information.

Following his dismissal, Cllr Attridge issued a statement on social media, he said:

I am shocked and saddened to have been dismissed from the cabinet of Flintshire Council.

This was entirely the decision of Aaron Shotton, who is himself mired in an ombudsman’s inquiry into his conduct.”

Cllr Shotton defended his actions in a statement on Thursday, he said:

“Over the years there have been a number of breaches of confidence by the councillor.

I have shown Cllr Attridge my loyalty over those years and have given him support, and access to advice and the support of others, in an attempt to prevent a recurrence.

Unfortunately, there has been a recent and significant further breach of confidence.

The cumulative effect of the councillor’s actions has been an erosion, and now a loss, of trust and confidence.

Regrettably, I have been placed in a position of having no option but to take this decisive action to protect the council.”

In response, Cllr Attridge said he was dropped from his position because:

“I voiced serious concerns to colleagues about the dismissal of a female member of staff following a series of newspaper allegations about the conduct of Aaron Shotton.

I continue to believe that is is grossly unfair that she lost her job while the leader of the council remains in post.

I make no apology for speaking up for her, I will continue to do so.”

Cllr Shotton is the subject of an ongoing code of conduct investigation regarding his reported involvement with the married woman, who lost her job in October.

In a further statement this morning, the leader of the council has dismissed Cllr Attridge’s claims, Cllr Shotton said:

“On Thursday, I gave the reasons why I acted as I did in relation to Cllr Attridge. The employment case mentioned by him was not one of those reasons.”

The Council has also confirmed that Cllr Shotton has disclosed the breaches of confidence he cited as reasons for his actions in respect of Cllr Attridge.

A council statement says:

“He did this in order to show those breaches had been acted upon and to protect the Council from possible claims.

From the disclosure made by Cllr Shotton the employment case mentioned was not one of the reasons given.”

A public meeting is due to be held in support of Cllr Attridge at the Shotton branch of Wetherspoons on Monday.

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