Under-fire Manor House councillor Angie Wilcox resigns from Hartlepool Council

Angie Wilcox
Angie Wilcox

AN under-fire councillor has resigned from her position on Hartlepool Borough Council – but has vowed to fight on as manager of a crisis-hit charity at the centre of a pay scandal.

Angie Wilcox has handed in her notice on the back of two recent employment tribunal cases involving the charity which she manages, Manor Residents’ Association, failing to pay national minimum wage.

But the former Labour councillor for the Manor House ward has refused to apologise over the pay scandal and insists 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 Manor Residents’ Association had responded to legal proceedings brought by one of the claimants.

In her letter to Peter Devlin, the council’s chief solicitor, Ms Wilcox said: “Following recent events and a discussion with the leader of the council it is with deep regret I tender my resignation as a councillor of Manor House ward.”

No date has yet been set for the by-election.

Ms Wilcox’s resignation comes after Manor Residents’ Association was last week ordered to pay almost £4,000 to a second worker, 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 Wynyard Road-based organisation was ordered to pay almost £9,000 to former cleaner Lynda Gooding who was also paid under the national minimum wage.

Despite two separate rulings, Ms Wilcox, in her resignation letter, said: “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.

“Whilst I have been silent on what were previously ‘confidential’ matters I must defend Manor Residents’ as they were and remain a fair and very loyal employer.

“Some of those alleging offences by Manor Residents have such short memories and would remind them of our duty of care when we provided flexible working to said employees due to home life stress they were suffering whilst paying full-time salary.

“Another of those alleging wrong doing were taken into my very own home at a time their own family made them homeless.

“I challenge anyone to claim these are the actions of an uncaring employee. It is now for them to live with their own consciences.

“At no time was anyone paid less than minimum wage and contracts were duly in place, which both parties failed to produce and claimed they were lost.”

Ms Wilcox added: “I shall now be able to focus my energies within the community and restoring the reputation of Manors Residents’ Association.

“The whole catalogue of events has had a detrimental effect on my family and those I hold dear and I cannot allow this to continue.”

Last week, Labour councillor and town mayor Stephen Akers-Belcher resigned from the association’s board over concerns about the “significant” lack of information and transparency around recent employment tribunal cases.

A council spokesman said: “We can confirm that Angie Wilcox has stood down as a councillor for the Manor House ward.

“A date has not yet been set for a by-election.”