Clerk’s High Court bid failure

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A FORMER parish councillor who won a £33,000 payment for unfair dismissal has failed in her bid to have her case re-examined.

Melanie Smart, former clerk to Bradfield Parish Council, was awarded the compensation by an employment tribunal.

She applied for a Judicial Review in the High Court stating her dismissal was unlawful and “an injustice” and she should recieve further compensation for pension loss.

Ms Smart claimed she was bullied by former chairman Coun Malcolm Glover but her claims were dismissed by Sheffield Council’s Standards Committee.

She took the legal action after contacting her MP, Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg, who referred the case to Eric Pickles, Communities and Local Government Secretary.

Mr Pickles told her if a council failed to carry out its statutory duties it could be challenged in the courts.

However, a judge in the High Court Queen’s Bench division refused Mrs Smart’s application.

She claimed her case had not been handled properly but her claim was rejected and the judge ordered her to pay the parish council’s costs of £1,020.

Bradfield Parish Council has decided not to pursue the recovery of the costs.

Chairman Coun Karen Southwood said in a council meeting the authority had decided the cost of recovering the outstanding legal award would be too great.

She said it was not in the best interests of parishioners to pursue recovery of the money.

Mrs Smart is continuing her battle and has lodged an appeal against the High Court’s decision.