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Princes Risborough town clerk signed off with work related stress
TEMPERS flared on Tuesday night as a town council discussed the temporary absence of a clerk who has been signed off with work related stress.
Cllr Adrian Rolfe said it is Princes Risborough Town Council's responsibility to sort out the issues, so the clerk, Sue Griffiths, can return to work.
At the council's monthly meeting Cllr Rolfe said she had been signed off with work related stress, initially for a month, but potentially longer and asked whether there was a need for another clerk in the meantime.
Cllr Alan Turner suggested asking deputy clerk, Kirsty Pope, to step up to the role and to pay her more. But as discussions continued tempers flared.
Cllr Reg Orsler said: "It is unfortunate the clerk is indisposed in this way. Are we as an individual council wholly to blame?
"As I understand it she has three other jobs as well."
Cllr Turner said she has stepped back from a couple of her other roles a while ago.
Cllr Rolfe said: "We are the employer at the end of the day. We have got a member of staff who has been signed off with work related stress. It is down to us to sort it out.
"If we sort it out she will come back to work."
He went on to say the problem needs to be sorted adding: "I will come out in the open and say what the reasons are behind it."
Cllr Orsler said he was not aware she had given up some of her other jobs, to which Cllr Turner reiterated she is paid by the council who are responsible.
Cllr Orsler added: "I think that would add to the stress though, wouldn't it?"
Cllr Rolfe then said: "The stress is in this town council not any where else," to which Cllr Orsler replied: "I don't know that."
Cllr Rolfe then said: "If I have to make a statement to the press I will have to. She needs respect and needs to be left alone to do her job and she does not need to be stressed out by certain people."
Cllr Will Streule said he does not think it is appropriate to discuss a medical condition in an open meeting.
The council decided to call a meeting to discuss the issue further in private and it was agreed Mrs Pope should be paid more while she fills in for Mrs Griffiths.