Sacked 'femme fatal' town clerk awarded more than £55,000 in damages

Sacked 'femme fatal' town clerk awarded more than £55,000 in damages

‘Femme fatal’ town clerk who was sacked amid ‘moral disapproval’ of her relationship with councillor as his wife died from Alzheimer’s is awarded more than £55,000 in damages

  • Jane Woodward dismissed from her post at Barnard Castle Town Council in 2019 
  • A tribunal has ruled in favour of Ms Woodward and awarded her £55,063 
  • Ms Woodward said her career had been left ‘totally destroyed’ after being fired 

A ‘femme fatal’ town clerk who was fired amid ‘moral disapproval’ of her relationship with a councillor as his wife died from Alzheimer’s has been awarded more than £55,063 in damages. 

Jane Woodward was branded a ‘gold-digger’ in anonymous letters and town gossip before being dismissed from her post at Barnard Castle Town Council in 2019. 

Mr Peat resigned from the authority in the same year.   

Jane Woodward was branded a ‘gold-digger’ in anonymous letters and town gossip before being dismissed from her post at Barnard Castle Town Council in 2019

Barnard Castle Town Council will hold an extraordinary meeting at 6pm on Wednesday to discuss the employment tribunal’s ruling in favour of Jane Woodward, who said her career had been left ‘totally destroyed’ after she was sacked.

Barnard Castle mayor John Blissett and councillor Sandra Moorhouse were were singled out for criticism in employment tribunal.

A public meeting had been called to debate a vote of no confidence in the councillors, but it was called off after it was confirmed that Durham County Council was going to investigate a code of conduct complaint against them.

A report by Judge Seamus Sweeney criticised the town council’s treatment of Mrs Woodward and councillors Blissett and Moorhouse, who did not approve of Mrs Woodward’s relationship with Mr Peat primarily from a moral standpoint.

Barnard Castle Town Council (pictured) will hold an extraordinary meeting at 6pm on Wednesday to discuss the employment tribunal’s ruling in favour of Jane Woodward, who said her career had been left ‘totally destroyed’ after she was sacked

Cllr Moorhouse regarded Mrs Woodward as something of a ‘femme fatale’ the judge found.

In 2019 Mr Peat resigned from the authority and Mrs Woodward was later dismissed from her post after the council cited ‘an irretrievable breakdown in relationships between her and her co-workers and councillors’.

Judge Sweeney awarded Mrs Woodward £2,336 for unfair dismissal and £52,727 for disability discrimination, on the grounds the council had failed to make ‘reasonable adjustment’ for her depression and anxiety.

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