LETTER: Petulant bickering

Your letters
Your letters

Regarding the story headlined ‘Bickering councillors disrupt meeting flow’ (Steyning Herald, July 16) – I witnessed the behaviour described and there were indeed “groans from the public gallery”.

A Herald article (April 16, 2015) described the threats that nearly cost the town its council.

On April 23 I expressed the hope that the three new councillors (R. Goldsmith, S. Sullivan and G. Sullivan), all Friends of Memorial Playing Field (FoMPF), would work positively in support of council initiatives and help bring to an end the ‘corrosive atmosphere’ described by councillor Rogers at her last council meeting in April.

She was one of the many casualties, after nine years’ service for Steyning residents, who decided not to seek re-election.

This followed four years of pressures, stress and litigation by the FoMPF against Steyning Parish Council.

I had hoped they would demonstrate goodwill by persuading their associates to withdraw any outstanding litigation and move to cooperative and positive ways for the greater good of the community.

It would appear those pleas have fallen on deaf ears.

It must have been upsetting for the four new co-opted councillors to have also witnessed these exchanges.

There has been comparative calm over the skate park issue for some time.

Councillor M. Toomey was right to remind councillor S. Sullivan that the skate park issue has yet to be resolved.

Residents who voted for the skate park in a Town Poll, supporting the council at that time, still want this facility for our young people.

I have written to the parish clerk pointing out the inappropriate behaviour of councillors R. Goldsmith and S. Sullivan, who are both active opponents of the skate park plan.

Now that they are parish councillors they should act in accordance with the protocols and policies agreed by the full council meeting on June 8, 2015.

If they have a grievance about their places on committees, or anything else, they should try to resolve it within the agreed procedures and not with outbursts at public meetings.

It is unacceptable that residents should have to continue to witness the kind of petulant bickering described in your report for a further four years.

Disruptive behaviour and allegations against colleagues can only hamper the work of the council and bring it into disrepute.

Mike Kelly

Kings Stone Avenue


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