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Duo resign at fiery Kimberley council meeting that sparks cry of ‘shambles’

Kimberley Parish Hall, Newdigate Street.

Kimberley Parish Hall, Newdigate Street.

Two elected members resigned at a fiery meeting of Kimberley Town Council that sparked a cry of “shambles” from members of the public.

During an open meeting on Thursday (July 31), councillors Katharina Boettge and David Kirwan made allegations surrounding the budget and made claims that the council was unwilling to include residents in decisions.

The duo, who are members of the Green Party, became the latest elected members to quit in the last two years.

They left Kimberley Parish Hall with the comment: “We are numbers eight and nine — that’s something to think about.”

Speaking at the meeting, Cllr Boettge said she felt she could no longer be a part of the council as it was ‘no longer democratic’.

She said: “I have no confidence in the council any more.

“I think this council has lost its way and a lot of practices are not being followed.”

Coun Kirwan alleged: “Certain members of the council treat residents and other councillors with contempt.”

Chairman Cllr David Nunn declined to comment on their decision to resign until he received the official resignation from the two councillors concerned, which is expected to be submitted later today (Friday August 1).

Accusations of bullying the new town clerk were also aimed at Cllr Boettge and Cllr Kirwan by Cllr Karen Tennant, which were denied by both Green Party councillors.

The accusations were made after the two councillors had requested copies of recent quarterly financial statements.

Several issues with the most recent quarterly financial statement were raised by members of the council as there were expenses they said had not been budgeted for.

It was claimed at the meeting that these included an £8,000 grant allocated for Kimberley Institute Cricket Club and £15,000 promised for work on the town’s cemetery chapel, where only £3,000 was accounted for in the budget.

Coun Nunn explained that the new town clerk was still in training and this was the first quarterly financial statement she had completed.

However, he admitted that it was not in ‘tip top condition’ and therefore it would be revised and a new one released.

For the full story see next week’s Advertiser (August 8).

 

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