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Legal action call over missing documents

PUBLISHED: 12:02 02 October 2009 | UPDATED: 11:26 08 July 2010

A drive by Watton Town Council to retrieve deeds and other legal documents has led one councillor to call for all past and present members to be subpoenaed.

A drive by Watton Town Council to retrieve deeds and other legal documents has led one councillor to call for all past and present members to be subpoenaed.

Dominic Chessum

A drive by a town council to retrieve deeds and other legal documents has led one councillor to call for all past and present members to be subpoenaed.

A drive by a town council to retrieve deeds and other legal documents has led one councillor to call for all past and present members to be subpoenaed.

At a meeting of Watton Town Council on Tuesday the town clerk, Jacqui Seal, also escalated the issue saying she had serious concerns that a member of the council had retained a copy of her CV after she was interviewed for the post six years ago.

The issue of the missing deeds was brought up after a resolution at previous committee meeting that the town clerk should contact the council's solicitors and seek legal advice on how to go about getting the documents back.

Mrs Seal told the meeting she had yet to hear from the solicitors.

She said: “I can assure you that the deeds and documents are missing. I have written to solicitors and banks and come up against a stone wall.”

The clerk said that all deeds and legal documents were the property of Watton Town Council and went on to raise her concerns about documents relating to staff which she believed an unnamed councillor had in his possession.

Roy Rudling said that in his opinion all past and present councillors and council workers should be subpoenaed to ensure all the documents were returned.

He said: “[The documents] are not the property of individuals, they are the property of the town.

“If it costs a few pounds to this council we are doing it for ratepayers so all the deeds are in this office.”

Mrs Seal said: “The staff are very concerned that personal information could be in the hands of a current councillor.

“When I had an accident a councillor contacted me on my mobile phone by text and I do not give my mobile phone number out.

“The only thing I can assume is that the person kept a copy of my CV.”

Mrs Seal said she was not prepared to say who the person was in an open meeting but added that the matter “concerns me greatly”.

Referring to deeds which show the council owns land at Watton Sports Centre Paul McCarthy said: “The fact that the clerk has not seen these deeds shows you the negligence that has been going on over the years. Not just now but over the years.”

He said any actions taken by the sports centre committee in relation to its recently trying to obtain the deeds through their solicitors had not been done out of malice.

Mrs Seal demanded an apology for the remark saying she had repeatedly brought the problem of the missing deeds to the attention of the council.

No apology was forthcoming during the meeting.

Councillors resolved to wait until the clerk had heard from the council's solicitors before taking any action.

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