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Former members hit out at parish council

By Burton Mail  |  Posted: January 16, 2013

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A BURTON parish council has been criticised for the way its public meetings are being run.

Outwoods Parish Council is currently in a state of crisis with a number of its members, including chairman David Browning, having walked out recently.

At its latest public meeting, there were only two parish councillors in attendance along with temporary chairman Tom Foster and clerk Kay Lear, while borough councillors and a county councillor made up the numbers.

The meeting took a bizarre turn as a number of former parish councillors, sat among members of the public, rounded on current members to voice their concerns about the council’s current state, including the role borough councillors play, while there was also anger at the possibility of the meetings becoming bi-monthly due to the dwindling numbers.

The council were accused of ‘breaking the law’ by one member of the public for allowing borough councillors to sit among parish councillors as opposed to with the public.

Borough councillor Liz Staples said that parish councils in the town simply have their own way of doing things, though aside from the interim chairman and the clerk, non-parish members made up the majority of the group.

Concerns had also been raised prior to the meeting by members of the public, bemused at the shortage of members, the abdication of the chairman, and the lack of clarity over meeting times.

Speaking on behalf of Outwoods Parish Council, Kay Lear said that the council was actively seeking to bolster its numbers.

She said: “Four councillors have left purely for personal reasons. It is worth noting that all the councillors are volunteers and many find they have other calls on their time.

“We welcome the time and support of the borough councillors who have been an invaluable source of information and support to us.”

Anybody interested in joining Outwoods Parish Council should contact Mrs Lear at kay.lear21@btinternet.com

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