Council admit unfairly dismissing town crier

24/10/12   Knaresborough Town Crier Simon Shaw waves to the crowds  back on his first official engagement in the Market square,  Knaresborough next to the market cross
24/10/12 Knaresborough Town Crier Simon Shaw waves to the crowds back on his first official engagement in the Market square, Knaresborough next to the market cross
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Knaresborough Town Council has admitted they unfairly dismissed Knaresborough town crier Simon Shaw ahead of an employment tribunal.

The town council have conceded unfair dissmal and asked for the case to go straight to a remedy hearing.

Gary Simmonds who represented Mr Shaw during the employment tribunal proceedings said: “I think they just didn’t want their dirty laundry being aired in public.”

Mr Shaw was suspended from his duties in August of 2012 but was reinstated in October 2012 after an independent investigation commissioned by the council found that he should not have faced disciplinary action.

He then had his contract ended at the end of 2012 and entered a stand off with the council over a new contract.

Knaresborough Town Council had argued that the role of town crier was voluntary and therefore Mr Shaw was not an employee and unable to claim unfair dismissal.

However at a pre-hearing review in May the employment tribunal concluded that Mr Shaw was an employee making him entitled to bring a complaint of unfair dismissal against his former employers.

Less than a month later Knaresborough Town Council conceded unfair dismissal.

Knaresborough Town Councillor and long term supporter of Mr Shaw, Coun Andy Wright said: “Clearly the town council had no leg to stand on.

“There are no winners in this situation, Knaresborough has been without a town crier for almost a year, Simon has had to fight this and the town council has been brought into disrepute.

“It is sad that it has gone on for this long.”

Maurice Bardon, chairman of the Knaresborough Chamber of Trade which is listed at a second respondent in the employment tribunal said: “It has nothing to do with us now, it is between them and we don’t have to be involved.”

Knaresborough Town Council, who have remained tight lipped throughout the whole debacle, have again refused to comment on the matter.

Knaresborough Mayor Carole Reid added she was unable to comment as the tribunal is ongoing.

The tribunal is now listed for a remedy hearing in August to discuss any compensation.