Hatfield Town Council row over councillor disqualification

PUBLISHED: 12:55 13 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:55 13 September 2017

Former Independent Hatfield town councillor Caron Juggins at Birchwood Leisure Centre.

Former Independent Hatfield town councillor Caron Juggins at Birchwood Leisure Centre.

Danny Loo Photography 2016

A fierce debate erupted at Hatfield Town Council last night after it transpired that a former Independent councillor was given no warning that she was going to be removed from the Labour-led council - unlike a former Labour councillor.

Earlier this month, Caron Juggins was notified by email that she was no longer a member of Hatfield Town Council because she had failed to attend any meetings for six months.

MORE: Independent removed from council

However, former Labour councillor Dean Archer was given a warning before he was disqualified from the town council in 2013, last night’s council meeting heard.

At the meeting, deputy leader of the opposition, Conservative Geoff Wiltshire said: “Someone mentioned Dean Archer and that he was advised if he didn’t attend meetings, he would lose his place.

“Was Caron advised?”

MORE: Labour town councillor disqualified

Town council clerk, Carrie Lloyd responded: “Regretfully, no she wasn’t advised.

“I didn’t notice until September 1 when I looked at the attendance.”

Member of the public Alex Owen asked: “So a Labour councillor was warned.

“Is it not fair to warn another member who is Independent?

“You can’t have one rule for one and another for another.”

Hatfield mayor, Labour councillor James Broach said: “I wasn’t a member of this council when Dean Archer was taken off.”

Mrs Juggins also spoke out at the meeting.

She said: “First of all I have always been a very good councillor for Hatfield and I have always put Hatfield first.

“I have always spoken my mind.

“I think taking me off the council and all the committee meetings, which Labour did, was terrible because I can give so much to the meetings, but they thought no they didn’t like me.

“Maybe they didn’t like the controversy.

“I think this council has done a huge misjustice because I haven’t missed any meetings at all.

“I was taken off them.”

Labour councillor John Fitzpatrick said: “We’re all given a responsibility to represent the people and turn up to meetings.

“If you don’t do that, you have to give apologies and reasons.

“It’s the law Caron.”

Ms Lloyd said: “I didn’t take her off any committees, the council did.

“She had two council meetings to attend and she should have given a reason not to attend.”

Ms Lloyd added: “She could have apologised before or after the meeting but she didn’t.”

Ms Lloyd then addressed councillors: “Please don’t speak unless I have confirmed what you’re saying by a solicitor.”

Mrs Juggins told those present that the reasons she had not attended the two council meetings was because she was on holiday for one and at the time of the other she was having a kidney stent put in.

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