Shock as council suspends town crier

Suspended Knaresborough Town Crier Simon Shaw.
Suspended Knaresborough Town Crier Simon Shaw.

Knaresborough is without its town crier after the Town Council suspended Simon Shaw, who has served in the ancient role for three years.

The town council have confirmed they took the decision to suspend Mr Shaw at a meeting on Wednesday, August 15, and wrote to inform him of the decision on Friday, August 17.

Mr Shaw, who is employed jointly by Knaresborough Town Council and the town’s Chamber of Trade, was suspended with immediate effect until an independent investigation can be carried out.

The council spokesperson declined to comment further, saying they did not want to prejudice any investigation.

The town council said they are hoping Harrogate Borough Council (HBC) may help with the investigation, but HBC’s Head of Legal and Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer Peter Jordan said it was not certain HBC would be involved.

He said: “I am aware this is an issue. If Knaresborough Town Council make a formal written approach we will have to consider it, but my first reaction would be that this is an employment matter for Knaresborough Town Council, not for Harrogate Borough Council.”

Mr Shaw said the terms of his suspension prevent him carrying out his town crier duties and from acting in a way that could lead the public to believe he is an offial town crier.