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Burry Port councillors John James and Amanda Fox

Allegations of ‘bullying and harassment’ follow resignations of two councillors

TWO Labour members of a Carmarthenshire town council have resigned due to what their party leader alleged was bullying and harassment.

Labour’s Amanda Fox and Shirley Matthews have stood down from Pembrey and Burry Port Town Council.

The town council has urged them to reconsider their decision and said it did not recognise the bullying and harassment reference.

But Carmarthenshire Labour leader Rob James alleged in a statement that “bullying and harassment” had resulted in the resignation of “two experienced female councillors”.

Cllr James said he would ask the Public Services Ombudsman for Wales, Nick Bennett, and the county council to intervene.

“Town councils should be a place where community trumps politics,” said Cllr James.

“Shirley and Amanda have given everything for their communities and I am sure that they will continue to do excellent work for local residents.”

Ms Fox became a town councillor in 2017 and is also a county councillor representing Burry Port – a role she will continue to do.

She told the Local Democracy Reporter Service she had always been treated with respect at the county level but claimed this had not been the case at the town council.

She said the town council experience had been “horrible” at times.

“I had knots in my stomach before I even got to meetings,” she said.

Ms Fox claimed the final straw related to a blog, written by a member of the public.

In a statement, the town council said it was “disappointed and saddened” to receive the councillors’ letters of resignation.

“Both are valuable members of the council, and their contribution to the community is widely recognised,” it said.

“The town clerk and the chairs committee, as well as individual councillors, have been in touch with both, pleading with them to reconsider their decision and withdraw their letters of resignation.

“All members want them to continue on the town council.”

It added: “Noting the reference to a culture of bullying and harassment, we can only comment that this is not an environment which we recognise.”

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