Row in Council Chamber

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  • #149590

    Peterthewatcher
    Participant

    Rob cant through his report gives a sense of the astonishment and the actual atmosphere in the Council Chamber when the Cllr Pritchard and Cllr Jones had their spate.. The tension amongst the Councillors was one of visible shock at what was going on.
    The issue over the RAF got totally lost in personalities trying to defend their position- both should be reported to the Standards Committee and all Councillors attend a training session about respect and dealing with clashes. What a pity the new Mayor had to chair the fracas.

    #149597

    Matt
    Participant

    I think it reflects incredibly bad on the Leader of the Council (newly re-elected) that he can’t contain his temper or allow others to put their points of view across without interruption.

    Some of his sound-bites are incredible. It’s all I, I, I as if there is no democracy in place and other elected members of the council don’t have any authority or say.

    I am not going to let him stand and say this is a PR stunt. I am calling a point of order, I think the elected member is a disgrace and should sit down.”

    “As leader of the council I am not going to accept it Mr Mayor”.

    “I am trying to be fair here and dignified, when really I am furious.”

    It most certainly isn’t about just Clr Pritchard, and leader or not he has no right to shout over other perfectly valid opinions in the chamber. The reality is, if he hadn’t bitten and Clr Jones’ amendment had been quietly defeated (would have happened) then most people wouldn’t even be aware of the issue, but now the spat has acted like a lightning rod and the whole county will have their tuppence to add to the validity of having an RAF celebration vs Homeless Veterans.

    You now have to ask in these times of austerity an even more pressing point that £1,000 was an arbitrary figure pulled out to allocate funds to, but:

    Cllr Griffiths clarified that the £1000 budget in the report was indicative and no firm figures or plans for any events had been made.

    This effectively means that even though the vote was passed, several thousands of pounds could be assigned to such celebrations as they’ve effectively been given a blank cheque. Very difficult to justify when there are cuts going round everywhere else. There are still loads of places across the county that are overgrown and they’ve not got round to cutting the grass, getting rid of weeds and cutting back hedgerows, likewise the pothole problem is still spiralling out of control. Those are just the aesthetic issues. As it stands anyone in the RAF might want to fly right past rather than visit our town until it gets sorted out.

    It’s all just 1 great big merry-go-round of farce.

    #149599

    Wrexham1
    Participant

    It’s hardly surprising behaviour from Councillor Pritchard though, along with Councillor Bithell, he is responsible for the Kingdom Security farce.

    #149622

    Matt
    Participant

    Just watched the whole incident on the webcast. Clr Jones held his ground well and respectfully, Clr King also comes across well. Clr Pritchard comes across as angry & livid & unhinged as described in the original article. Then there’s Clr Atkinson, allegedly he was getting increasingly angry except sounding completely emotionless about the entire thing then tries to score points with the Establishment Leader & score a cheap shot against a Plaid councillor whom he has received much criticism from in the past, so is only speaking out of personal beef, rather than actually being offended by the suggestion.

    For what it’s worth I think the new Mayor was able to chair the whole thing pretty well – nobody told him he’d be dealing with children.

    #149625
    Alunh
    Alunh
    Participant

    I’ve watched this tonight. An uncomfortable experience.

    When Marc Jones introduced his amendment and amplified this with his point about the PR stunt, you could see a train crash coming. Opposing a motion as framed wasn’t the problem. It was attacking the motive of those supporting it. Within many environments, it is the impugning of motive that upsets the apple-cart and whilst Marc Jones would have every right to make his point, it was perhaps couched in an argument that was over-personalised.

    In came Cllr Pritchard like a ‘Bat out of Hell’. Seemingly totally disregarding the rules of debate, his passion boiled over. Nothing wrong with passion. He had a good point. The debate was about a very sensitive issue in this 100th anniversary year of the RAF. Unfortunately, the passion should have been controlled and the interjection at a time that did not place the Chair (or Mayor) in a difficult position. He should have asked the Council leader to control himself or withdraw.

    Cllr King sounded like a voice of reason. Unfortunately, it might have been better if he merely reprimanded both speakers.

    I do hope that the Chairs are sent on Seminar courses concerning meeting management. Throw them out if they behave badly.

    #149626

    Peterthewatcher
    Participant

    Perhaps we might have seen for the first time in over a 100 years the Mayor’s attendant actually using the symbolic mase for the intended purpose of keeping order at unruly meetings. Instead, there could be a complaint to the Ombudsman against both of the Councillors fro bring the Council into disrepute as a consequence of behaviour within the chamber whilst carrying out public duties.
    This doesn’t bode well for the next year of Pritchard rule..

    #149628

    Matt
    Participant

    This doesn’t bode well for the next year of Pritchard rule..

    Indeed. I couldn’t help but notice that there was more than 1 comment on Facebook remarking that this style of leadership is classed as bullying. Do you think he forgot the cameras were on and filming him? Lots of people who have seen this are completely shocked and talking about it.

    I just don’t have any logical explanation for this complete slip in behaviour. Of course it might be the case that there has more recently been better behaviour and restraint observed due to the re-election of Council Leadership coming in, but now safely back in the leadership spot perhaps showing off a usual more assertive and forceful style of leadership. 1 year on the clock with no challenges means easier to do as you please.

    #149636

    bubble
    Participant

    For what it’s worth I think the new Mayor was able to chair the whole thing pretty well – nobody told him he’d be dealing with children.

    As a direct consequence of this comment, I watched the recording. I’ve never watched one before. OMG!!!

    Maybe they could introduce a rule where only the person holding a specific object (the “talking stick”) is permitted to speak. I don’t know why, but the first object that came to my mind was a gonk. They could have a “talking gonk”. I don’t think a gonk would make them look foolish – I think that ship has already sailed.

    Alternatively, perhaps someone could introduce the councillors to good manners and courtesy.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 3 weeks ago by  bubble.
    #149643

    Peterthewatcher
    Participant

    At one time only one person at a time could speak as the microphone system would only allow that to happen. Not sure that would have been effective in this case as the ‘raised’ voices certainly did not need a mic.

    Looks like Cllr Pritchard has learnt a lot from the famous 4-minute meeting with Minister Leighton Andrews who came to deliver a message and left. Look what happened to Leighton he is no longer an AM.

    Would any of the Pritchard Group of Independents perhaps not have voted him in as Leader if they had seen this public display. If they are truly a Group then they should be taking action to clip his wings and bring him into line. “oh forget they are likely to be bullied into line and he will not take any notice of them”.

    Residents in Wrexham need to remember we voted our Councillors in but the Councillors themselves could vote their Leader out and shame on all of those who are in the Pritchard Independent Group – the behaviour this week if not sorted by them shows that they do not deserve tio be Couyncillors and the Public will have them vited out asap.

    #150106

    steveg
    Participant

    Given that Wrexham’s links with the RAF are now very tenuous (RAF Wrexham is now just an enormous hole in the ground), why is our supposedly cash-strapped Council allocating money to a celebration?
    This is the same Council who are proposing to take away supported employment for people with learning difficulties, but who apparently have a “blank cheque” for military celebrations.
    We have Councillor Griffiths as our “Armed Forces Champion” – which Councillor is our “Disabled People’s Champion”?

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