Anger as councillor is kicked out of his seat

ANGRY residents blasted Hemsworth Town Councillors for kicking an independent out of his seat following the death of his wife.

Ian Womersley has not attended a council meeting for six months as he was caring for his ‘soul mate and best friend’, Debbie Womersley, during the last few months of her life. He then took some time away from the public eye following her death.

Councillors voted that his seat would be made available to someone else at a heated public meeting last Tuesday, despite pleas from some councillors to write to Mr Womersley regarding the situation.

But clerk Tina Pattison said the council was bound by law to fill the vacancy and that, while she sympathised with Mr Womersley, there was nothing she could do.

Residents booed and shouted at the councillors for their lack of sympathy.

Two residents were asked to leave the council chamber by chairman Coun Tony Upson after they became upset by the decision.

When one refused the meeting was adjourned and police were called. The man left when asked by the officers.

The late Mrs Womersley’s sister and father were also present during the meeting and blasted the decision.

But Mr Womersley said he understood the council’s ruling and that there was nothing they could have done about it.

He said he wanted to step away from politics and announced that he had also resigned from Wakefield Council.

Mr Womersley said: “Enough is enough. I’ve done my bit for the community over the years. I spent months looking after Debbie and it was 24-hour care. I could not have physically attended any meetings.

“I’ve not just lost my wife, she was my best friend, my soulmate as well. I’ve had enough and this has made me see what is important. It is time to be with my family and friends.”