Lincoln Citizens Advice Bureau chair stands down

Tom James says decision has nothing to do with controversy over volunteer's sacking

The Citizens Advice bureau that issued an unreserved apology for inappropriately dismissing a volunteer has a new chairman.

Tom James decided not to seek re-election as chair of Lincoln CAB after a three-year term, and was replaced by vice chair Philip Wright at a trustees' meeting last month.

James said his decision not to seek another term had nothing to do with the case of Lettie Fortune, the former volunteer advice worker who was sacked in March 2008 for allegedly making defamatory comments about bureau manager Roy Trotter

An independent report into the case by professor David Chiddick, vice chancellor of Lincoln University, concluded that Fortune's dismissal meeting was not conducted in an appropriate way and that claims by James that Fortune had made libellous allegations were "unproven and/or inappropriate".

But Chiddick said he had "considerable sympathy" for James because he had acted on the advice of the CAB's solicitors, Bates Wells & Braithwaite, when he dismissed Fortune.


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