Lincoln CAB volunteer's dismissal to be investigated

Lettie Fortune wins independent review after pressure from national organisation

A local Citizens Advice Bureau has opened an independent investigation into the dismissal of a volunteer who complained about her manager.

Lettie Fortune has been campaigning for an apology from Lincoln and District CAB for more than a year.

She was dismissed after writing to Tom James, chair of trustees at the bureau, alleging that she and others had been treated unacceptably.

James claimed the letter was defamatory and told Fortune not to return to work at the bureau when she refused to withdraw it.

Fortune is unhappy that as a volunteer she had no employment rights and was unable to contest the decision. She wants an apology and believes the case highlights the need for a volunteering ombudsman.

Fortune has written to Lincoln MP Gillian Merron and the board of the national Citizens Advice organisation to have her dismissal investigated.

Lincoln CAB had refused her request but after her case was highlighted in Third Sector last month the national body, which has the power to sanction local bureaux, put pressure on it to investigate the matter.

Last week, a spokesman for the national body said Lincoln CAB had "agreed to an independent investigation". He added: "We cannot confirm anything more at this stage as the investigation has only just been agreed and details are not yet available. We do not wish to prejudice any outcome."

Fortune said: "I am pleased there is going to be an independent investigation into my complaint."

James said he was unable to discuss the matter other than to say he would not be involved in the investigation because he was the subject of Fortune's complaint.

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