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TRIBUNAL: Batteries removed from Town Hall smoke alarm

Created on 08/12/2021 @ 11:35


Batteries were removed from a smoke alarm at the Town Hall Chambers because the bleeping was “annoying councillors”.

The explosive claim was made at an employment tribunal where former Assistant Town Clerk, Martin Bond, is claiming unfair dismissal against the Town Council and its former Town Clerk, Robert Robinson, after whistle blowing about a broken alarm system at the Town Hall.

Answering questions from Employment Judge Harfield regarding his evidence given the previous day, the Town Council’s Operations Manager, Paul McGrath, claimed that because the Town Hall fire alarm system was not working, the smoke alarm in the council chambers was bleeping and he was instructed by Mr Robinson to remove the batteries permanently.

Mr McGrath said he spoke with Mr Robinson about the fire alarm system several times but was told the “the batteries just needed changing” but “I definitely challenged him on that and told him the signal wasn’t strong enough and the system needed updating”.

“I definitely challenged his claim that it was just batteries,” said Mr McGrath.

“On one occasion, the smoke alarm in the council chamber was constantly bleeping because it wasn’t getting a signal, and he had me take the batteries out of it so it didn’t make a noise because it was annoying the councillors in the council meeting.

“So he knew it wasn’t working, that’s a fact.” 

Asked if they were taken out permanently or temporarily by Judge Harfield, he responded “permanently” which meant there were no working smoke alarms in the council chambers.

“He was definitely aware the matter was more serious,” claimed Mr McGrath.

The tribunal is expected to reach its conclusion on Monday.


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