EXCLUSIVE: Wisbech town council clerk Erbie Murat suspended for alleged misconduct
17:10 07 January 2013
WISBECH town clerk Erbie Murat has been suspended by council leader David Oliver for alleged misconduct.
A brief statement issued by Cllr Oliver said the decision followed a meeting earlier today with Mr Murat.
Cllr Oliver told town councillors in an email that “I had to make the hard decision to suspend him for matters of misconduct for a period not to exceed 30 days.
“I will contact you shortly with a date for an extraordinary meeting to discuss the way forward.”
Mr Murat has held the post of town clerk for five years and has steered the council through a period of considerable change. He has overseen rapid IT transformation of council business and was instrumental in encouraging the council to pursue ownership of the market place from Fenland Council.
But of late he has been forced to sit outside of meetings concerning the market traders after falling out with them during the transition period. Many complained of his heavy and high handed approach and the new traders group which meets under the council’s ‘umbrella’ does so without him.
Mr Murat also received a mild reprimand from the council shortly after his appointment when he challenged Fenland Council’s decision to allow a Guyhirn sex shop to be licensed.
He had claimed his comments were sent on behalf of Guyhirn Village Hall Trust but the committee challenged that assertion, insisting his letter of objections were made by him as an individual and not representative of their views.
But Mr Murat has been one of the most committed champions of Wisbech insisting last year that we all “stop picking on Wisbech shall we and get on with breathing life into the town, not kicking it at every opportunity.”
In the same interview he described himself as an immigrant “who came here in 1956, at the age of five. I couldn’t speak a word of English. I was bullied mercilessly for being a foreigner.
“My parents who came here in 1951 (when I was just six months old), made a life here for themselves and for us children.
“I came here as a British subject as I was born in Cyprus, but I was a stranger in a strange land, and truth be told, I am still a stranger in a strange land – in Wisbech – but I don’t get picked on any more.
“I leave that privilege to my Eastern European friends as the latest in a long line of targets for the underlying discontent that underinvestment in the fabric and infrastructure of the town has created.”