Council chief apologises to residents’ chairwoman

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SHEFFIELD Council chief executive John Mothersole has sent a letter of apology to the former chairwoman of a city residents’ group.

Avril Fletcher, of Totley Residents’ Association, reported Sheffield Council to the Local Government Ombudsman after she was wrongly named as the sole complainant in a dispute with a city councillor.

The complaint had, in fact, been raised by Mrs Fletcher on behalf of the association as a whole.

Mrs Fletcher said the matter was investigated and a notice was published by the council which ruled the councillor had not broken the code of conduct - but which named Mrs Fletcher as the complainant.

“There was no mention of Totley Residents’ Association,” she said.

The association asked council deputy chief executive Lee Adams for a published apology, but Mrs Fletcher said: “The request was refused as it would cost the council £500.

“Ms Adams agreed to apologise to the association committee if their details were supplied, but this did not put matters right - I was the one who had been wrongly named, I was the one who needed the apology.”

In his letter to Mrs Fletcher, Mr Mothersole wrote: “I would like to unreservedly apologise for this error on behalf of the council, which I know has caused you distress.”