Snub by councillor reaches 18 months

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Great Cornard councillors have criticised district and county representative Peter Beer for failing to provide any reports for 18 months.

Mr Beer last attended a Great Cornard Parish Council meeting in April last year, when he demanded to know how much council manager Michael Fitt was paid. Government guidelines state that councils are required to disclose pay bands of employees earning more than £58,200 a year.

Councillor Tony Bavington said: “It is a nonsensical position – he is demanding to know something he’s not entitled to.”

“None of our staff earn anything like that.”

Mr Bavington said he thought Mr Beer was using the point as an excuse not to attend meetings.

“He will be as welcome now as he always has been, we don’t want to stop the people of Great Cornard getting the best out of their councillors,” he said.

As Mr Beer is not a member of the parish council, he is not obliged to attend, although many district and county councillors attend parish council and town council meetings regularly to provide reports and updates.

Mick Cornish, chairman of Great Cornard Parish Council raised the council’s concerns with Suffolk County Council leader Mark Bee last week.

He said: “We are very much hoping that the parish council will start to get a report from Peter in the very near future. “The first thing we did when we were elected to the parish council three years ago was to bring Peter in from the cold.”

Mr Beer said: “I have no plans to attend or give a report as the council still won’t answer my question about the manager’s salary.

“I can assure you the people of Great Cornard aren’t missing out – I see them all the time and they knock on my door.

“Councillors may not know as much of what is going on but they need to get their house in order first,” he added.