Sacked warden to meet council bosses
FORMER community warden Bob Hughes is preparing to meet county council bosses as part of a grievance procedure against the termination of his contract.
He has been called to a meeting in Maidstone which will take place on Wednesday.
Throughout the last month there has been an unprecedented backlash from villagers in Sevington, Smeeth, Brabourne, Mersham and Aldington to KCC’s decision to get rid of their much- loved community warden, a retired Met Police officer with 33 years policing experience, after his six-month probationary period came to an end.
Bosses told Mr Hughes he no longer had a job as he was “too challenging” – a reason which outraged villagers and sparked stories in the national press.
Parish councillors for the villages Mr Hughes served have this week received a letter from KCC bosses following a meeting they held to discuss the situation.
But council bosses have still refused to let the parishes know whether or not there is a possibility that Mr Hughes could be re-appointed under the KCC grievance procedure. Last week the county council confirmed that another com- munity warden had already been put in post to replace Mr Hughes.
County council bosses have also not answered parish and borough councillors’ question as to whether KCC could look into sources of funding which would enable the parish councils to employ Mr Hughes directly.
The letter states that the parishes are permitted to raise more money themselves – but this would have to be done by raising council tax.
Ashford borough councillor Richard Honey ( Con) said: “This makes a mockery of KCC’s stated desire of working with the community to regain its trust and shows that KCC cannot be trusted to abide by its word.”
Almost 100 names appear on the Bring back Bob petition at www.kentishexpress.co.uk/ bobpetition.
There are 97 signatures, including one from a serving senior Kent Police officer, who lives in one of the villages.