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Axed Wrexham choirmaster agrees five-figure compensation

Published date: 18 March 2014 |
Published by: Jonathan Grieve
Read more articles by Jonathan Grieve


 

A FORMER choirmaster who was made redundant has accepted a five-figure payout.

Jacqui Blore lost her job as director of music at St Giles’ Church in Wrexham in August last year following a period off work with depression and stress.

As a result of her departure, members of the choir walked out in protest and the town centre church is still without an official choir.

Ms Blore decided to take her former employer, the Wrexham Parochial Church Council (WPCC), to an employment tribunal citing unfair dismissal and a hearing of the case is due to be held in the summer.

In the meantime a provisional settlement of the dispute has been reached and a five-figure compensation sum agreed ahead of the July hearing.

Wrexham-based solicitor Tudor Williams, representing Ms Blore, said his client was pleased with the payment which “vindicated” her decision to take the case to the Cardiff-based tribunal and added: “Justice had now been done."

Yesterday Mr Williams said while it was unlikely to now go ahead, the case was still listed for July.

Ms Blore claimed she was owed more than £18,000, despite being paid three months’ salary in lieu of notice.

It was alleged the WPCC failed to comply with the terms of her contract of employment entitling her to one month’s salary in lieu of notice for every year worked.

Ms Blore, 46, was born in Wrexham and after working with many choirs she was made orchestral manager and company manager at the British Youth Opera before returning to her home town in 1996 to work at St Giles’. She was first employed as secretary to the rector and director of music and subsequently as parish administrator.

In 2011 she was appointed adminstrator  and music project manager at the St Giles Religious Education and Faith Development Centre.

But in May last year a WPCC executive committee met to consider staff restructuring and finances, despite the fact that Ms Blore claimed it was not authorised to do so.

Ms Blore, who had been off since April, was told the post of musical director was being made redundant, but it was claimed the WPCC failed to go through the proper channels.

After losing their leader of 17 years, many members of the choir decided to leave in protest.

In her claims against the WPCC, Miss Blore said she was not warned or properly consulted about the redundancy and any redundancy procedures had been abandoned.

She also disputed the money paid to her as part of the redundancy package.

Yesterday a WPCC spokesman said: “The case is still ongoing and there is no further comment to make.”

For more news from across the region visit newsnorthwales.co.uk

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