Monday, 06 April 2020

Former town clerk criticised over ‘disparaging’ remark

A FORMER Henley town clerk has been criticised for making a “disparaging” comment about a bus company.

Janet Wheeler, who is now Didcot town clerk, was the subject of a complaint made by a member of the public after she gave her opinion on Whites Coaches during a discussion in November.

The resident said she thought that a town clerk should be neutral and described the comment about the Wallingford company as an
“outburst”.

The exact nature of Mrs Wheeler’s criticism has not been disclosed but the complaint was supported by three councillors.

She was unable to respond publicly because of the council’s policy on duty of care for staff.

Mrs Wheeler, who lives near Lechlade with her husband Richard, became Henley town clerk in April 2016 when she replaced Mike Kennedy following his retirement after more than seven years.

She was previously town clerk in Amersham for six years and before that was a parish clerk in Cookham. She left to join Didcot Parish Council in May last year.

At the time, Mrs Wheeler said she was looking forward to the challenge of working for a bigger and expanding town and also reducing her three-hour daily commute. As Henley Town Council and various committees meet on Tuesday evenings, she often stayed in hotels instead of making the 40-mile drive home.

Mrs Wheeler said: “I did want to stay until retirement but sadly it wasn’t to be. I’ll be sad to leave a town as beautiful as Henley but my home life will be better.”

She was replaced as Henley town clerk in September by Sheridan Jacklin-Edward.

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