Old tensions resurface at town council

Berwick town councillors have been urged not to revert back to the '˜pettiness' of the past few years.

Friday, 3rd March 2017, 7:23 am
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 9:45 am

The appeal was made by Cllr Gordon McLean after several councillors complained about the content of Cllr Gavin Jones’ monthly report at Monday night’s full council meeting.

Cllr Jones, who was not there, was criticised for using the report to air party political and personal grievances.

The report, a synopsis of a speech he made at last week’s county council budget meeting, also accused local Tories of being engaged in activities ranging from: writing obscenities across his shop window; to threats of running him out of town; to false allegations of licensing breaches.

Cllr Georgina Hill said: “I think we are all sick to death with the nonsense we get from Cllr Jones’s county council reports.”

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Cllr Anne Forbes said: “I am not going to comment on anything Cllr Jones has said but what I do object to are his personal attacks on town councillors. It is absolutely atrocious and shouldn’t happen.”

Interim clerk Gareth Davies said he had a duty to share county councillors’ reports so he was not acting as a censor. On this occasion, he said Cllr Jones was reporting what he had said in a council meeting.

Cllr Eric Goodyer said: “I do believe it is a matter of concern that he believes there is a campaign to run him out of town. If there is, we are duty-bound to stand by him and request a police investigation into this allegation because it is a very serious one.”

He called on Cllr Jones to produce evidence and take the matter to the police.

Cllr Paul Hodgson called on both parties to stop.

Cllr Gordon McLean said: “I’ve been on this council two-and-a-half years and I’m totally fed-up of the pettiness, childish actions of councillors.

“It’s time this town moved on. Everybody involved should be ashamed.”

But Cllr Karin Graham said: “We were meant to have moved forward but Cllr Jones brought this up at county.”