Union boss still suspended

SUFFOLK-based union leader Paul Woolstenholmes still doesn't know when – or whether – he will be allowed back to work, more than three months after he was suspended.

SUFFOLK-based union leader Paul Woolstenholmes still doesn't know when – or whether – he will be allowed back to work, more than three months after he was suspended.

Mr Woolstenholmes is a full-time member of the executive of the Fire Brigades Union.

However he was suspended from his job at the end of June in a row over the leaking of minutes of confidential executive meetings.

Today he remains suspended – with no indication about if or when he will be able to return to work.


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But he has been bouyed up by support he has received from rank and file firefighters and other union members.

"I've had a great deal of support, it's been very encouraging to know there are many people campaigning for me," Mr Woolstenholmes told The Evening Star.

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"I don't know when this will all be resolved, hopefully sooner rather than later – the longer you are away from the office the more catching up there is to do.

"This whole thing is quite ridiculous: there were leaks before I joined the executive, there were leaks when I was on the executive, and there have been leaks since I was suspended.

"The only good thing is I've moved house recently and I've had time to get that all sorted out – but that's hardly the point!"

Mr Woolstenholmes, who lives in Felixstowe, was elected on to the executive of the FBU last December.

He is national officer responsible for legal matters,health and safety, and pensions.

His election came after he played a high-profile role in the firefighters' dispute when he was secretary of the Suffolk branch of the union.

The union has confirmed Mr Woolstenholmes has been suspended but has refused to comment as it is an internal matter.

What do you think of Mr Woolstenholmes' suspension? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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