Suspended clerk is living a ‘nightmare’

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Sudbury Town Council’s clerk has denied any wrongdoing and says she is living a “nightmare” after being suspended.

Sue Brotherwood, who has been in the role for 20 years, was asked to leave Sudbury Town Hall just days before Christmas to allow an investigation into a “procedural” matter.

“It was terrible,” said Mrs Brotherwood, from Melford Road, Sudbury.

“I was marched from the premises before I even had a chance to say anything. I do not believe I have done anything wrong.”

A confidential email was sent out to members of the town council following the suspension of Mrs Brotherwood on full pay on December 23.

Mrs Brotherwood said she was speaking to the Free Press after a councillor made the email public.

“I am really sad this has happened,” said the 61-year-old.

“It took me a week before I could speak to anyone about it. It is like living a nightmare.

“I cannot believe the allegations against me. They may want to alter procedures and policy.”

Mrs Brotherwood said the council had recently carried out a clean audit, before external auditors were brought in.

She added that she was taking advice from a solicitor from The Society of Local Council Clerks and was keen for the situation to be resolved, so she could return to work.

“I love Sudbury and have dedicated my life to the town,” said Mrs Brotherwood.

“I am four years away from retirement and want to finish my career.”

Sudbury mayor Adrian Osborne said Mrs Brotherwood was “highly respected” by councillors and he wanted to see the matter dealt with as soon as possible.

“It is with regret that the town council has found the need to suspend the town clerk on full pay while an investigation takes place,” he said.

“All members have been made aware of this and what we need to do.

“It is an extremely sensitive situation and not an easy one for any of the councillors because the town clerk is highly respected.”

Mr Osborne said the authority could function effectively in Mrs Brotherwood’s absence.

“The town council has a team of very efficient and committed officers and will offer the same high standard of service,” he added.