Another Hartlepool councillor resigns from troubled Manor Residents’ Association

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A SECOND councillor has stepped down from the board of a crisis-hit Hartlepool charity.

Labour councillor Paul Beck has resigned with immediate effect from Manor Residents’ Association (MRA), in Kilmarnock Road, because he claims there has been a “significant lack” of consultation and information sharing to board members about recent employment tribunals the charity has been involved in.

It comes after MRA manager Angie Wilcox resigned as a councillor on the back of two employment tribunal cases which involved the charity failing to pay national minimum wage.

Coun Beck is the second councillor to resign from the board after Labour councillor and ceremonial mayor, Stephen Akers-Belcher, also stepped down over concerns about the lack of information to the association’s board about recent employment tribunals.

Coun Beck, a Hart Ward councillor, said: “Following recent events and after a great deal of thought I have made the decision to resign my position of board member of Manor Residents’ Association.

“I cannot continue in the role where there has been a significant lack of consultation and information sharing around the employment tribunals.”

Last week Coun Akers-Belcher resigned over the “significant” lack of information and transparency around the employment tribunal cases.

Despite resigning as a councillor, Ms Wilcox, a former Labour councillor for the Manor House ward, has refused to apologise over the pay scandal and has insisted she has “at no time done anything wrong or untoward”.

That is despite two employment judges ordering the association to pay thousands out to former and current staff members.

One employment judge, Andrew Buchanan even labelled Ms Wilcox “dishonest” and said he was insulted by her attempt to falsely show MRA had responded to legal proceedings brought by one of the claimants.

Earlier this month, Manor Residents’ Association was ordered to pay almost £4,000 to Carl Williams, who wasn’t paid the national minimum wage.

Mr Williams, 25, who is still employed by the charity, had worked for 16-months for as little as £4.42 an hour and also paid tax and national insurance deductions that the HMRC had no record of.

In April, the organisation was ordered to pay almost £9,000 to former cleaner Lynda Gooding who was also paid under the national minimum wage.

Despite the two separate rulings, Ms Wilcox, said in her resignation letter: “I remain steadfast in my view that I have at no time done anything wrong or untoward but it is difficult to challenge those who have little regard for truth and honesty.”