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Now clerk walks out on Sheerness Town Council

Beleaguered Sheerness Town Council has now lost its clerk.

Yvette Cheesman has quit after less than four months in the job claiming the atmosphere is “most obnoxious.”

Yvette Cheesman has quit as clerk of Sheerness Town Council
Yvette Cheesman has quit as clerk of Sheerness Town Council

The 53-year-old mum-of-one was taken on in May as a trainee clerk and had been studying in her own time. But she says she became disillusioned by a small number of councillors.

She said: “They kept using red tape as an excuse for not doing anything. The last straw was when they decided to abandon holding the annual meeting because of coronavirus even though they could have held it using Zoom.

“Residents are entitled to know what councillors have done with their money during the first year.

“It is a most obnoxious atmosphere and riddled with bureaucracy. It is ridiculous. It is like an old boys’ club.”

She refused to name the councillors she says she had difficulties with but she is the second clerk to leave the council since it was formed in May last year.

The first meeting of the Sheerness Town Council with chairman Matthew Brown, seated left, with vice-chairman Brian Spoor and, from the left, Lee McCall, Amanda Green, Chris Reed, Cherise Moorcroft, Malcolm Staines and Chris Foulds
The first meeting of the Sheerness Town Council with chairman Matthew Brown, seated left, with vice-chairman Brian Spoor and, from the left, Lee McCall, Amanda Green, Chris Reed, Cherise Moorcroft, Malcolm Staines and Chris Foulds

She added that she had been contracted for three days a week but was expected to be on call “24/7”.

Since the beginning of this year three councillors have resigned, Malcolm Staines, Steve Ritchie and Lee McCall.

Cllr McCall, who remains an independent councillor on Swale council, said this week the town council was “a farce.”

He had earlier called the council “toxic.”

Chairman Matt Brown did not reply to requests for a comment about why the clerk had left.

Masters House, home of Sheerness Town Council
Masters House, home of Sheerness Town Council

The council has now lost a third of its councillors. It is advertising for three replacements on social media.

Applications, with reasons for applying, should be emailed to clericalmanager@sheerness-tc.co.uk by the end of today (Wednesday).Applications will be discussed at the next full council meeting on Monday, September 21.

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