Town crier sacked after calling councillor an idiot

Skipton town crier Kevin Griffiths
Skipton town crier Kevin Griffiths
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A TOWN crier has been sacked following over 50 complaints, including about rudeness and that he had been drinking while in uniform.

Award-winning Skipton town crier Kevin Griffiths has been ringing his bell in the market town since 2006 but the town council has now revoked its consent for him to act as official town crier.

The authority acted after “numerous complaints, over a lengthy period of time” relating to Mr Griffiths’ behaviour, a spokesman said yesterday.

Complaints centred on claims that he had promoted local businesses while standing in a council car park, a breach of a local byelaw.

He also got into trouble for calling a councillor an “idiot” during an argument, which he had admitted.

The Yorkshire Post understands that councillors also looked into allegations that Mr Griffiths had been drinking while dressed for the role.

Mr Griffiths, a former fireman, said he had not been treated fairly because the allegations about drinking had not been put to him.

“The meetings have been held behind closed doors and these allegations (about drinking) are the first I have heard. How can I defend against that?”

Mr Griffiths, 58, said he would sometimes have “four or five pints” in the pub but only after his town crier shift had ended.

“I am conscious of the fact that I am wearing the livery and I would not get smashed out of my skull because it’s an insult to the Queen.”

He said he was self-employed and therefore not “on duty” when he was in the pub.

He believes businesses complained about him promoting one establishment over another but he denied any bias.

The council said Mr Griffiths had ignored council requests. “The quantity of complaints received, together with the repeated refusal to adhere to the reasonable requests and instructions of the council, and a failure to follow the rules of membership of the Ancient and Honourable Guild of Town Criers has made the position untenable.”