Residents’ anger over committees

FURIOUS residents reacted angrily to a decision on committee selection at a heated town council meeting.

Thursday, 26th May 2011, 11:13 am

Hemsworth Town councillors voted to elect all nine Labour members onto the policy, leisure and recreation and finance committees with just two independent councillors given a place - Coun Stan Wilson on finance and Coun Peter Hardacre on leisure and recreation.

Coun John Richardson had suggested that the committees be made up of a fair proportion of independent and Labour councillors but this idea was rejected by the Labour members. Local residents at the meeting booed and shouted at the decision and called for the independents, who have six seats, to be allowed onto the committees.

Derek Appleton blasted the councillors at the end of the public part of the meeting.

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He said: “You have allowed the Labour group to stifle democracy. You say let’s work together but you have failed at the first hurdle. The independents should have been allowed a fair crack at the committees.”

Coun Upson was elected as the new chairman at the same meeting, replacing Graham West, who did not stand in the May election.

Coun Upson said: “I would like to thank you for the confidence you have shown in me. I will endeavour to do the job to the best of my ability. I want to thank all councillors, past and present, for the work they have done for this community.”

The chairman and vice-chairman for policy, finance and leisure and recreation will be decided at the first meeting of the relevant committee.