Fury after ‘guilt’ claim over bench tribute

Roger Plumb.

Roger Plumb.

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A town councillor has sparked outrage by claiming political rivals want a memorial bench for a colleague out of ‘guilt’.

The claims by Evelyn Archer during a Morecambe Town Council meeting have been vehemently denied by the leader of the Morecambe Bay Independent party.

Mrs Archer said she was “dumbfounded” after reading a letter from the MBIs calling for a bench in memory of the late Roger Plumb, former chairman of the town council and an MBI.

She said: “I feel this is done to lessen their guilt. I will be supporting it for 
Roger not to make you feel a bit better.”

Councillor Roger Dennison, leader of the MBI group, said: “Can I assure everybody here that what was said just now is not correct.”

Coun Archer, then said: “I was treated the exact same way as Roger and I know what that poor man went through. It needed saying for Roger’s sake.”

Coun Nick Baxter, chairman of Morecambe Town Council, then asked Coun Archer to “keep opinions to yourself” in trying to restore order.

Mr Plumb, who was a teacher at Heysham High School, died suddenly in November 2014, aged 56.

He stepped down as town council chairman in 2011 after 17 months due to personal reasons.

Coun Archer is a former leader of the MBIs who was expelled from the group in 2010 for missing town council meetings at a time when her husband was terminally ill with cancer.

She is now an independent councillor.

Coun Dennison’s letter to colleagues said Mr Plumb “chaired the town council during some difficult times, against external critics”.

He has asked for the bench to be placed in a children’s play area in Westgate, where Mr Plumb was a city and town councillor.