COUNCILLOR Zac Arnold has called for an independent inquiry into the events surrounding Lydney Town Council in recent years after he was cleared of breaching the authority’s code of conduct.

He has claimed that it ‘came as no surprise’ that there were resignations from the council during a troubled August which saw the whole authority in flux.

Former town mayor Mr Brian Pearman complained to the Forest of Dean District Council’s Group Manager for Legal Services and Monitoring Officer Mrs Bhavna Patel on August 11, alleging ‘a vicous campaign of harassment’ by Cllr Zac Arnold against then Lydney Town Council Chief Executive Mrs Jayne Smailes.

The complaint centred on two matters. An email sent to all town councillors on July 8 by Cllr Arnold and which was read to an extraordinary general meeting on July 15 and the EGM itself.

The EGM minutes say the contents saw Cllr Arnold personally attack Mrs Smailes ‘and stated that previous members had resigned due to their poor relationship with the ‘office’ (of Lydney Town Council headed by Mrs Smailes).

Cllr Arnold was involved in a high-profile incident at the town council offices in January when he tried to ask questions as a member of the public but was prevented from doing so and asked to leave the building.