Support shown for village man

PUBLISHED: 13:24 06 March 2008 | UPDATED: 21:24 31 May 2010

A LIVELY meeting saw about 100 people turn up to show their support for a parish councillor who has spent his life working for his village. Ann Coleman, who has lived in Clavering for 45 years, said Cllr Edgar Eggie Abrahams had been like a father to

A LIVELY meeting saw about 100 people turn up to show their support for a parish councillor who has spent his life working for his village.

Ann Coleman, who has lived in Clavering for 45 years, said Cllr Edgar 'Eggie' Abrahams had been like a "father" to the village and was "caring and hard-working".

At Clavering's annual parish meeting on Monday night, people showed their support for Cllr Abrahams after he was reprimanded by Uttlesford District Council's (UDC's) standards committee for breaching the code of conduct.

At the May parish council meeting Cllr Abrahams failed to declare his interest with the Jubilee Fields Committee, of which he is chairman, or leave the meeting when it was being discussed.

If the parish council joined the Essex Playing Fields Association his committee would benefit by saving its membership fee of £15.

Cllr Abrahams, 84, said: "I was very pleased to see so many people come to the meeting and I would like to thank them all for their support.

"I have always done my best for the village and I do not believe I have done anything wrong."

Five members of Clavering Parish Council and the parish clerk lodged the complaint against Cllr Abrahams and a hearing was held at the UDC offices in Saffron Walden on Friday January 18.

The standards committee warned Cllr Abrahams to "clarify his thinking in regard to the code of conduct", but did not impose any sanctions because they accepted he had acted out of a mistaken, but genuinely held belief that he was not in breach of the code.

One villager who attended the meeting, but did not wish to be named, said: "Legally they had the right to report him, but morally it was wrong. Eggie has spent his whole adult life working for the village - he has been on the parish council for 40 years, including 28 years as chairman."

Mrs Coleman added: "This whole palaver has been blown out of all proportion. It has cost the council a lot of money and it has cost Eggie a lot of money to hire a lawyer."

Clerk of Clavering Parish Council Carol Wilkinson said: "The councillors were duty-bound by the law to report Cllr Abrahams. He has had a history of problems with adhering to the code of conduct and it could not continue.

"Cllr Abrahams has not been treated harshly at all - the standards committee found him guilty of breaching the code. He has in fact got off very lightly.

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