It was meant to be a fresh start for Mundesley Parish Council after a rocky few months.

But an attempt to draw a line under a period of turmoil, resignations and accusations of secretive goings-on did not go quite as well as expected.

A Facebook post from the council clerk announcing a new "open and honest" era was quickly derailed by replying villagers, who found their messages blocked and reported - before all comments were turned off within minutes.

The social media rumble is the latest development in a village dispute that led to four disgruntled members quitting the parish council in what has become known as the 'Mundesley mutiny'.

The message was posted at the weekend by the new temporary clerk. In his introductory post on the council's Facebook page, he promised to be "open, honest, proactive and make a positive difference" in his duties.

Eastern Daily Press: The Mundesley Parish Council officesThe Mundesley Parish Council offices (Image: Archant Norfolk 2013)

But it didn't take long for an ex-councillor, Kathryn Moore, to test this by asking questions about an ongoing row over the handling of the former clerk's dismissal which remains shrouded in secrecy and involved £6,000 being spent on lawyers.

Eastern Daily Press: The post on Mundesley Parish Council's Facebook pageThe post on Mundesley Parish Council's Facebook page (Image: Kathryn Moore/Facebook)

That earlier dispute led to the mass resignations in September, when four councillors, including Mrs Moore, quit in protest at the council's lack of transparency about the nature of the investigation into the clerk and the money it was spending.

The council is yet to reveal the reason why the clerk was suspended and later sacked but the incident accrued substantial costs to pay for locum clerks as well as the legal fees.

READ MORE: Mundesley mutiny: Row sees quarter of village's council quit

Eastern Daily Press: Former Mundesley councillor Kathryn MooreFormer Mundesley councillor Kathryn Moore (Image: Submitted)

The acrimony led to North Norfolk District Council and the Norfolk Association of Local Councils being brought in to help resolve matters but it continues to be a point of frustration between some villagers and the council.

READ MORE: Uproar over village dog breeder leads to petitions and 'NIMBY' accusations

Mrs Moore's question posted to Facebook as a comment under the new clerk's post asked: "In the spirit of openness and honesty, please would you tell parishioners how much money has been spent on dismissing [the former clerk]?"

Within a short space of time, Mrs Moore says the comment was deleted.Eastern Daily Press: Mundesley's village signMundesley's village sign (Image: (C) Archant 2020)

A private message was then sent by a serving councillor to Mrs Moore, which she felt was a threat.

It said: "Please be aware the vitriolic approach you are projecting could have serious repercussions. We both know there is a thin line between 'robust dialogue' and bullying."

Eastern Daily Press: The post was reported by Mundesley Parish CouncilThe post was reported by Mundesley Parish Council (Image: Kathryn Moore/Facebook)

After further posts were made in the village community group, in which she exposed the "censorship" by the council, she was later blocked from interacting with the authority's page and her posts were reported to Facebook admins.

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Eastern Daily Press: Former councillor Judeline Nicholas Former councillor Judeline Nicholas (Image: Judeline Nicholas)

A second ex-councillor, Judeline Nicholas, who also weighed in on the issue in support, has also been blocked. 

Mundesly Parish Council's initial post remains visible on its page but all comments have been turned off and deleted.

Eastern Daily Press: Attempts to access Mundesley Parish Council's Facebook page revealed Kathryn Moore had been blockedAttempts to access Mundesley Parish Council's Facebook page revealed Kathryn Moore had been blocked (Image: Kathryn Moore/Facebook)Following the fallout, another post was made, which said: "‘Facebook is not an appropriate medium to discuss confidential matters. No further engagement will take place in respect of this thread."

But this has also since been removed.

Eastern Daily Press: A post on Mundesley Parish Council's Facebook page that has since been deletedA post on Mundesley Parish Council's Facebook page that has since been deleted (Image: Kathryn Moore/Facebook)

Speaking about the debacle, Mrs Moore said: "I have no idea why Mundesley Parish Council has reacted so heavy-handedly to myself and Ms Nichols. It was a legitimate question that villagers remain concerned about.

"It is very sad that its approach does not seem to accord with the initial post from the new clerk. It sends out the wrong message to the village.

"It seems the issues faced by myself, and the other three councillors who resigned in September, continue."

But Philip Stone, the new clerk who is now caught up in the middle of the ongoing row, has said the council acted appropriately to ensure confidential matters were not discussed on a public forum.

Eastern Daily Press: Mundesley Beach is a popular getaway spot in the summer monthsMundesley Beach is a popular getaway spot in the summer months (Image: Newsquest)

He said: "The parish council cannot engage or discuss confidential matters related to employees on an online public forum like Facebook.

"A post which was inappropriate to the rules we are governed by relating to confidentiality was made to the council's page and was removed six minutes later.

"I am more than happy to deal with any concerns or questions openly and transparently.

"However, I am unable to deal with questions relating to employment issues.

"Any questions can be raised at the Mundesley Parish Council offices between 10am – 2pm Tuesday to Thursday or by emailing"