Former mayor to boycott council

NEAALM110810B1 - Cllr Ken Woodhead on Princes street Eastwood
NEAALM110810B1 - Cllr Ken Woodhead on Princes street Eastwood

As the outgoing Mayor of Eastwood handed his chains over this week, he called for the council to ’disband’ and refused to attend another meeting until councillors ‘sorted themselves out’.

Ken Woodhead branded the council a ‘joke’ after three bickering councillors stormed out of a meeting in front of members of the public, who moments earlier had collected awards for the good work they did in the community.

Cllr Woodhead said: “I think the council has to disband and someone else has got to step in and take control. The council has now become a joke and I want no part of it.

“To conduct themselves in public in the way that they did was an absolute disgrace.

“They have brought our council into disrepute once more and I’m ashamed of those involved.

“The only interest of the councillors is to point score against each other. I can never see the two parties getting on.

“I will not attend another meeting until they have sorted themselves out.”

Ken Woodhead, who said he would remain a councillor, declared two weeks ago that the council should look at the election of the new mayor as the start of a new year and a turning point to end the bickering and concentrate on working for the people of Eastwood.

But they failed to manage even one meeting, said the exasperated councillor.

He said it was a ‘terrible’ end to his year as mayor and he was left ‘shell shocked’.

“It has tainted what was a special year for me”, he said.

“It upset me that at the end of my year all this kicked off. Particularly in front of the public. What sort of opinion must they have of us as a council?

“Ex-councillors who had collected awards were disgusted at their behaviour. A lot of people spoke to me afterwards and they just couldn’t believe it. They said it was disgraceful the way they conducted themselves.

“It looks like its going to be much the same as last year.

“It’s about time they grew up. It’s like being in a playground,” he said.

Don Rowley, Marjorie Rowley and Charlie Robb stormed out in a temper over disagreements about council business shortly after the mayor was elected.

Minutes later Cllr Don Rowley called fellow councillor Ken Kenny a ‘traitor’, causing a shouting match outside, all overheard by members of the public.

New incoming Mayor Cllr Brian Griffin said: “That meeting is a showpiece for the council where we present the awards and elect the mayors.

“The public were sat there shaking their heads in disbelief.”

Cllr Don Rowley said: “I walked out because I was disgusted about how they run the council. It’s the worse council I’ve known.”

One resident at the meeting said: “I only come to Eastwood Town Council meetings because it’s better entertainment than going to the theatre.”