We’ve now had some feedback from attendees at the Annual Town Meeting held in Priory Hall on Thursday 8th March.
The mayor opened the meeting and listed the Town Council achievements and his plans for the coming year. There was a question about the access between the school car park and the Gaskell Recreation Ground. He made a big play about the Gaskell field Management Plan, saying it had been published only 2½ weeks previously. The leaflet has actually been available for a couple of months and it was published on the Town Council’s website last summer – so action is awaited.
At the point of “local government electors” participation, concern was expressed about the poor turnout. Whilst the mayor said that details of the meeting were on the Town Council website and on the noticeboard, some felt this was inadequate publicity. A member of the public tackled the mayor on this topic later and he allegedly said that if members of the public came to the Town Council meetings, they’d know what’s going on. That sounds like an invitation!
Questions were also asked about three councillor resignations. The mayor said that Cllr Robert Toft resigned six weeks after being elected for “personal reasons”. It is thought
that few in the room believed this to be a credible response, given the newspaper report concerning the resignation – eleven weeks after Cllr Toft was elected.
The questioning moved on to the resignations on 9th February of both Cllr David Gibbon and Cllr Trevor Childs. On being asked why they’d resigned, the mayor apparently said that he didn’t know and that both of them had his phone number and could get hold of him and let him know if they wished. On leaving the Priory Hall later, one local resident was heard to say “he must be the only person in Wenlock not to know why they resigned”.
Raising the issue of professional fees incurred by the Town Council the response from the mayor was allegedly very cagey, citing confidentiality. He did, however, say that he expected those involved to apologise. Make of that what you will.