It is high time the chairman of the Diss, Thetford and District Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) was removed from his position, according to one of the charity’s own members.
Jacob Ecclestone has proposed a motion for the charity’s AGM on Tuesday to resolve to remove chairman of trustees David Sice from his position, following a turbulent year for the bureau.
Mr Ecclestone says he understands that there is “deep unhappiness” among some bureau members about the policies of the board and Mr Sice.
Mr Ecclestone’s motion sets out the arguments for Mr Sice’s removal, including the calling of two extraordinary general meetings, in which Mr Sice attempted to dissolve the Diss and Thetford Bureau and merge its assets with a wider Norfolk CAB. The trustees said that this would safeguard the service at times of public sector cutbacks, but the proposal caused anger and unrest among some and failed to gain enough votes.
Mr Ecclestone’s motion cites the recent decision to remove membership of the charity from six local authorities, including Diss Town Council and South Norfolk Council, “without good reason”.
Mr Ecclestone’s motion also argues that a membership review, set up by the trustees, put on hold the membership applications of 15 new local people for eight months. They were eventually given membership.
Mr Sice sent a statement to the Diss Express defending the policy on membership, but chose not to respond to a question asking him why he was the right person to take the charity forward, in light of the motion.
He said: “All individuals are welcome to apply for membership, including those who until recently represented funders. The key difference is they would be there as an individual, rather than representing the funder.”
He said 18 new members have recently been accepted following the review, demonstrating “impartiality and transparency throughout and ensuring that the needs of the local communities are taken into account.”
He said those authorities axed from membership have access to a stakeholder forum, to input views on the charity.
But Mr Ecclestone said: “I question whether the bureau will survive if Mr Sice remains as chairman of trustees.”
The meeting is to be held at the Thomas Paine Hotel, in Thetford, on Tuesday at 7.45pm.