A Conservative councillor heard yawning loudly and laughing as staff job losses were discussed has been asked to make a “formal and frank” apology.

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Danny Buck’s actions were described as “ridiculously insulting” after he made the noises during a contentious debate to disband Broadland District Council’s strategy, community and housing department (SCH).

Emails raising concerns about the behaviour of Mr Buck, Tory for Hellesdon North West, were sent to the council.

Mr Buck was requested to make an appointment with the authority’s monitoring officer Martin Thrower so he could be reminded of his obligations under the code of conduct.

Mr Buck, who is undertaking a history PhD focused on witchcraft and politics along the East Anglian coast, said he did overstep the boundary and he was “extremely sorry”.

He said it occurred during an intense time of personal stress for him and he had been struggling to sleep.

Mr Buck, 24, said: “I’ve tried to carry on with council work as best as I can. It was a real yawn. It was coincidental. I have been finding it hard to sleep recently - it was unfortunate timing.

“I have a lot of respect for staff at Broadland District Council who do a wonderful job under intense pressure.”

Mr Buck confirmed he has been offered the opportunity to make a formal and frank apology at the next council meeting.

He added: “My slip on this occasion was not something intended or one I intend to repeat.”

Mr Buck said the laughter was meant to be sarcastic and was aimed at a comment made by the opposition Lib Dems during the debate, which he felt “devalued the nature of the debate”.

But the University of East Anglia student said he realised looking back at his actions they were not acceptable.

Mr Thrower confirmed no formal complaint had been received but there were emails expressing concerns about Mr Buck’s actions. The pair met on Thursday to discuss the matter.

The incident occurred during the last full council meeting at Broadland on January 24.

As Dan Roper, Spixworth with St Faiths councillor, was addressing full council for a second time on the issue of the SCH team, Mr Buck made the yawning noise.

Mr Roper remarked at the time that he was sorry for keeping Mr Buck awake after his bed time.

He later said he wished he had not used comedy and instead issued a straight reprimand.

Nich Starling, Liberal Democrat group leader, responding to Mr Buck’s yawning noise told councillors: “We are talking about people’s jobs here and for some councillors to yawn and laugh through that is ridiculously insulting.”

After the meeting, Mr Starling said: “Council meetings are held in public and the electorate should have every expectation that councillors listen during debates. Sadly last Thursday, councillor Buck admitted to making facetious comments whilst another councillor was speaking. Then we heard fake yawns and laughter during a debate regarding redundancies.

“People losing their jobs should never be a laughing matter or a time to feign boredom.”

Four people, including the head of the department, are set to lose their jobs due to the decision to disband the SCH team, little more than 12 months after it was created.

The job loss issue has proved a controversial topic at Broadland in recent months.

Kim Davis-Claydon resigned from the Conservative cabinet after warning the restructure was being carried out in the wrong way. She is now an independent councillor.

Claims made against councillor Jo Cottingham are also being investigated.

Liberal Democrat Barbara Rix accused Mrs Cottingham at a full council meeting in November of claiming she previously wanted to get rid of a member of staff - whose job is among those set to be lost under the proposals.

Mrs Rix alleged Mrs Cottingham made the comments to her at a book sale in August 2012. The job loss proposals were announced to staff in September last year.

Buxton member Mrs Rix made a formal complaint against Mrs Cottingham on November 23.

Mrs Cottingham has declined to comment on the matter while the investigation is carried out.

27 comments

  • Ah, so he's surfaced again, I had occasion to speak to him during a break in a Hellesdon Parish Council meeting last summer when he found people with difficulty hearing amusing. You Mr Buck are a disgrace.

    Report this comment

    Cannot Say

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • this is no where near as bad as when tory MP paul maynard stood up in the house of commons to speak and was mocked by labour MPS who mimicked and mocked his disability. Look it up on google

    Report this comment

    milecross

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • "Ginger Whinger comes to mind, and this idiot is on our Local Council !!! No Respect at all" CanarySid - you get my vote! :-)

    Report this comment

    Urbancommander

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • What's a young scholer? Is it any relation to a scholar? If so, this prat bears no resemblance to someone bookish and thoughtful. He is a lout and the Tory Party's refusal to get rid of him means they bask in similar publicity. By all accounts this is not the first time he has disgraced himself. Get rid of him.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • One of the problem we have with prototype party political public life is that the moment they get into trouble, they straight away blame the other party for it. Fact is NO party has a majority any more, cause people are so fed up with it, they can't be bothered voting for anyone.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • look you Paul H. the elected councillor has form,why do you constantly defend these rogue elements in public life? That such behaviour is acceptable in the Tory party is not news, but there is no place on the council for such a prat.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • Says a lot about the Conservatives that they are happy to keep this pathetic, cowardly weasel as one of their candidates. In truth his despicable antics express their true views.

    Report this comment

    Only Me

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • This sort of thing is typical behaviour for local government tories. That's why they can't shake off the nasty party tag. No good having all the public relations merchants at Westminster if the grass roots keep tripping up. Don't worry, I imagine Boris Johnson was the same at that age, and now you all love him!

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • PaulH, you are so predictable it is boring, and you can't even get your facts straight. Are you referring to the £328 billion extra that Osbourne has borrowed in less than 3 years? Probably you have been listening so intently to his austerity and defecit reduction rhetoric that you haven't noticed what he is really doing.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • Can't help but feel sorry for the voters in Hellesdon who are blindly putting a cross against conservative without thinking about WHO they are voting for.

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • Dear Mr Shambolic and On the wagon Classy people do not stoop to personal insults.They applaud a young scholer for what he is trying to achieve against this unholy state Labour left us with called a £375 billion pound debt which must be paid not denied

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • Danny Buck has all the hallmarks of ex leader Derrick Murphy. Got the arrogance the Ginger Barnet but no glasses.

    Report this comment

    Alan Allan

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • To think its fools like Buck who we entrust with local council matters is absolute comedy. The conduct of this idiot are beyond comprehension, are childish and without due regard for others. Never mind apologising, he should be given the shove out. Absolute vile individual. Really hope his studies of witchcraft stand him in good stead when he grows up and has to find a proper job in the real world that the rest of us live in.

    Report this comment

    Urbancommander

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • Remind me milecross, was that for being a one-eyed Sctosman or for having a guide dog?

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Monday, February 4, 2013

  • This is what happens when kids get voted in as councillors. They can hardly be classed as adults until around 30 these days

    Report this comment

    chris

    Tuesday, February 5, 2013

  • Look you lot,The guy has apologised that means sorry. Which is more than we have ever had off the Labour lefties for this financial mess we are in.He is a young man,who seems to learn a few manners don't we all sometimes.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • For Dan Buck read Tim 'Nice, but Dim.'

    Report this comment

    Bruce87

    Sunday, February 3, 2013

  • A prize prat it appears!

    Report this comment

    Cyril the Canary

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • I think we may have struck a lefty nerve or two.Anyone fancy a duel swords or pistols,dawn St James hill.Mean while us Fascists are off to a Coven.Class act you lot.

    Report this comment

    PaulH

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • Politics and witchcraft eh? Trust a Tory Councillor not to be able to tell the difference between the two. This odious weasel should be chucked out of the party. Will have to open a new file for him and this goes on it to remind him and the voters when he next tries to pull the wool over their eyes at the next District Election.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • PaulH, perhaps after your beloved Tories apologise for forcing us into a triple dip recession (soon to come), failing to reduce the national debt, and sacking the public sector. Or are you lacking concern like Mr Buck about all of that?

    Report this comment

    Jeffrey Osborne

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • I want to yawn and laugh......Paul H wake up man!! How much longer will you and other Tories keep blaming Labour for this current financial plight. Oh, I forgot you are so out of touch with European and Worldwide financial meltdown alongside your inability to understand how Europe works to the benefit of the UK. Still you could always start sending e mails to a local radio station, then deny it and end up having your conversation recorded. District and County council run by Tories is in meltdown and laughable..............

    Report this comment

    JJE

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • I wonder if Mr. Buck, being reportedly a student at UEA, has managed to square the Tuition Fees circle? Being a member of the party that raised them, presumably he yet receives a councillor's allowance, with which he can then pay those fees. Very Arthur Daley.

    Report this comment

    T Doff

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • What an odious little ravi or merchant. Note the way he immediately tries to wriggle out of it as well, in a nauseating attempt to save face. This says it all. With the benefit of age comes the experience to put on a false front to the public lest make oneself unelectable. Is this on a par with the nororious incident at a neighbouring council, where during the debate following a presentation by the Mental Health Trust, the chairman and another senior councillor engaged in some merry banter using words like "loonies", "nutters" and "a bit mental". The EDP could run one of those nice polls, so we can vote on which we find the most offensive.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • whens he heading for the celebrity jungle then if hes tired and not sleeping whats he going to be like if he ever gets a proper job !!

    Report this comment

    i am mostly wrong??

    Friday, February 8, 2013

  • What's a young scholer? Is it any relation to a scholar? If so, this prat bears no resemblance to someone bookish and thoughtful. He is a lout and the Tory Party's refusal to get rid of him means they bask in similar publicity. By all accounts this is not the first time he has disgraced himself. Get rid of him.

    Report this comment

    Electra

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

  • " Ginger traits ". I wondered who would be the first cretin to concentrate on hair colour for abuse. No surprise it is prize buffoon nrg ( aka J Norton ).

    Report this comment

    LARSON.E. WHIPSNADE

    Saturday, February 2, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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