Town crier seeks a ‘sorry’ from bosses

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A TOWN crier is expecting to receive an apology next week from a town council which unfairly suspended him.

Simon Shaw, 47, was shocked when he was suspended as Knaresborough Town Crier in August.

He was reinstated after the town council was criticised for its treatment of him.

Mr Shaw, who has manic depression and admits some people did not like his eccentric style, wants to fully clear his name.

He still does not know why he was suspended though one complainant criticised his time-keeping.

An independent report, not made public, said the council should not have suspended him in the first place.

Mr Shaw, who lives in Harrogate, is currently embroiled in a fresh row with the council over his new contract.

Talks are going on behind the scenes and the town council is expected to have a revised contract for him by next week.

Last night Mr Shaw said he wanted an official apology before he would consider taking up the town crier role once again.

“I am excited about being town crier again; the role has given me back my health and given me a purpose. I want to clear my name. I can only move forward after an apology.”

Councillors will discuss the contract issues on Monday.

Councillor Andy Wright, who opposed suspending Mr Shaw back in August, wants a number of colleagues to apologise.

The “Town Crier saga” had become a “sad farce”, he said.

“It seems to me that those councillors responsible for Simon’s suspension owe him an apology. Whether they choose to do so and whether this is a public or private apology is for each individual to decide and something Knaresborough Town Council has no control over whatsoever.”

He added: “Subject to endorsement by full council on Monday, January 14, the new contract will be offered to Simon with a deadline of January 31. If Simon does not accept the new contract the post will be advertised. I support this approach.”