Thomas Bridge 10 April 2015

Sacked council employee goes on hunger strike

A former local authority employee has launched a hunger strike in protest over a town hall bid to reclaim a legal bill.

Theresa Sives claims that she was sacked from her East Lothian Council role supporting drug addicts find work after questioning where funding was being allocated.

However she lost an employment tribunal after disputing the town hall’s actions, with East Lothian now lodging a request for the cost of the 19-month legal negotiations.

Sives has been on a starvation protest since 30 March in a bid to stop the council from reclaiming the funds, which she claims would force her family out of their home.

She is documenting her efforts on YouTube and has called on supporters to sign a petition.

Discussing whether she would be willing to die for her cause, Sives responded ‘absolutely’.

‘I would rather die than lose our house to the council. We’ve lived here for 30 years — there is no way we will leave our home for anyone,’ she added.

A council spokeswoman said: ‘East Lothian Council thoroughly investigated Ms Sives’ allegations as part of a disciplinary process but could find no evidence for her claims.

‘Following an appeal hearing Ms Sives then took her claims to an employment tribunal who dismissed her case and awarded costs to the council.

‘The legal action over a period of years has amounted to significant public costs which East Lothian Council is now seeking to recover as it would in any other action.’

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