Dramatic vote to remove council chairman fails

Life rings are going missing at Hemsworth water park. Coun Tony Upson and Shirley Gilliver-Cooper
Life rings are going missing at Hemsworth water park. Coun Tony Upson and Shirley Gilliver-Cooper

A CALL to remove the chairman of Hemsworth Town Council failed dramatically - when the chairman himself was given the deciding vote.

Kinsley resident Ted Barratt, of Fieldside Road, initially asked chairman Coun Tony Upson to take a vote on giving the independent councillors a fair representation on committees and sub committees.

But when Coun Upson asked Mr Barratt to repeat the request as he had not heard correctly, Mr Barratt changed his mind - and asked for residents to vote on removing Coun Upson as chairman, saying he was ‘not a fit person’ to run the council.

The vote tied at 19 for and 19 against - meaning the deciding vote went to Coun Upson - who chose not to remove himself from the position.

The vote, which was held at Hemsworth Town Council’s annual town meeting last Thursday, was only advisory and would not have been set in stone, regardless of the outcome.

Mr Barratt also questioned the cost of local police attending the town council’s meetings.

He was told by Coun Upson and town clerk Tina Pattison that the council does not pay for officers to attend the meetings and that any budgeted cost was to cover an extra police presence at the annual bonfire event.

Other topics raised at the heated meeting - which took place at the Kinsley and Fitzwilliam Learning and Community Centre, Wakefield Road, Kinsley - included a recent ban on keeping cockerels on local allotments, whether allotment holders could still keep pigeons, the rise in precept rate and a variety of issues regarding the Sandygate Football Facility, Hemsworth Town Council Community Centre and Hemsworth Sports complex.

Winnie Mellows, of Chantry Croft, Kinsley, raised concerns about the number of serious traffic accidents that have occurred on Wakefield Road in both Kinsley and Fitzwilliam and asked for a review of the traffic calming measures already in place.

The council agreed to raise the issue with the district council’s highways department.

The meeting, which was attended by around 40 local residents and councillors, ended shortly before 9pm.

Hemsworth’s annual council meeting will be held at the Hemsworth Town Council Community Centre, Bullenshaw Road, from 7.30pm on Tuesday, May 15.

For more information, call 01977 617617.