COUNCILLORS are not ‘untouchables’ with free rein to do and say what they want, a committee on a town council previously mired by allegations of bullying has said.

In October 2017, Pembroke Dock clerk Sarah Scourfield resigned her post following what she said was constant bullying and pressure from within the council.

A later vote of no confidence in those accused of the alleged bullying saw all the members of staff walk of a town council meeting.

In January a complaint was made about an alleged breach of the Code of Conduct for town councillors by acting in a “disrespectful and bullying manner towards the previous clerk to the council both in council meetings and when communicating with her by email, between 2014 and her resignation from the council in 2017.”

In the latest update to Pembrokeshire County Council’s standards committee on Tuesday, July 9, the Ombudsman’s Code of Conduct Casebook stated that there was no action necessary in the Pembroke Dock case.

In a statement, Pembroke Dock Town Council’s Personnel Committee said: “The Personnel committee of Pembroke Dock Town Council is aware of the decision by the Ombudsman to not pursue action against one of our councillors after a complaint we referred to them. This decision was reached as there was no evidence of a breach of the code of conduct.

“The Personnel committee remains of the view that as elected public representatives, councillors are still required to follow employment policies and laws whilst treating staff with respect at all times.

“The Personnel committee has asked staff to keep a log of any behaviour that they consider to be against our employment policies or the code of the conduct if a similar situation arose in the future.”

It added: “The Personnel committee has written to the Welsh Government, lobbying for support for officers of councils, given the current lack of support that staff of councils have at a national level from governmental and local government membership organisations.”

It stressed: “This committee recognises that councillors have freedom of speech but also maintains the view that councillors are not untouchable, and they do not have a pass to say or do what they want, when they want.”