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Council won't back call for apology
10:30am Wednesday 9th October 2013 in News
MALVERN Town Council this week declined to make one of its members apologise over an alleged insult to a district council officer.
The long-simmering row dates back to February, when town councillor Mike Charles attended a meeting about wheelie bins.
During the meeting, he made remarks about Malvern Hills District Council officer Ivor Pumfrey, who subsequently made an official complaint.
A hearing of the district council’s standards committee ruled that Coun Charles had breached the councillors’ code of conduct and said it would welcome an apology from him. Coun Charles has always maintained that he attended the February meeting as a private citizen, not a member of the town council.
He also complained that the standards committee had refused a request by him to defer the hearing on medical grounds, and described it as a “kangaroo court”.
At Malvern Town Council’s meeting on Tuesday, the agenda included a request from district council monitoring officer John Williams that the town council “considers the standards committee judgment and requires Coun Charles to apologise to Mr Pumfrey and offers appropriate training”.
When the item came up, Coun Peter Smith said that the request was no business of the town council and should be dismissed forthwith.
He proposed the council move on to the next item on the agenda. The motion was seconded by Coun Hannah Campbell and approved by the council.
Several member spoke of their sympathy with Coun Charles and Coun Smith said he hoped the matter could now be brought to a close.
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