In a recent planning meeting where a children’s home was approved, the Mayor Cllr Billy Wells got up and accused the council’s officers of double dealing because he didn’t like the decision. So I questioned his behaviour in Full Council. The Mayor didn’t like my supplementary question, so tried to shut me up half way through. I might have still got to the end if Saltburn Tory Cllr Philip Thomson hadn’t stood up and shouted over me to help him. I don’t think either of them like democracy very much.
Here is the question I tried to ask:
“I recognise that councillors sometimes express their frustrations in meetings without any particular consequences. It happens.
Sometimes perhaps there are better ways of doing it.
For example, I think it would be better if this one hadn’t happened in front of a pupil on work experience observing the planning meeting.
The decision of the Regulatory committee was to allow a change of use of a building to create a children’s home. And following such a decision if a mayor – any mayor in any council – gets up in the meeting in front of the press and members of the public and accuses officers in the Council he represents of having a hidden agenda, in this case an agenda concerning the plan to create a school for children with SEMH issues on that same road, and when that mayor also claims that children will not be safe in that location, then any council would have a problem.
What this Council, together with the officers whose integrity has been challenged and the wider public need to know is whether you Cllr Davies, having looked into the matter, agree with either of those claims, because if you do then, especially with the second point concerning the safety of children on Corporation Road, I presume you will already have asked for an investigation.”