Councillors who voted against £7,000 of public money being spent on an operation for town clerk Isabelle Barrett are calling for councillors to resign if an investigation finds they acted illegally.
Labour councillors Chris Turner, Mick Jefferys and Joy Uney said that although the money had since been paid back by an unknown benefactor, as reported in the Journal last week, questions needed to be answered over the “incompetently handled” incident.
A statement from the three councillors said: “Although we haven’t officially heard whether it was legal or not, it makes you think when, suddenly, the money is repaid.
“Several questions need to be answered. What level of trust can residents have in those councillors who voted to give an employee of the town council nearly £7,000?”
Cllr Chris Turner added: “If a councillor has done something wrong then that councillor should resign. I don’t think there is anything wrong in expecting that kind of integrity from councillors.”
The investgation is being carried out by external auditors appointed by the Audit Commission, following a complaint by Newmarket resident Ian Bedford, with the results expected in the next few weeks.
Town mayor Geoffrey Jaggard, who did not know the money had been repaid until contacted by the Journal, said: “We are still waiting for the Audit Commission to rule on whether the council had the power to fund the operation or not. If the commission decides the council acted incorrectly, then we will have to decide what action to take.”