Angry scenes as rows over allotments and election come to head at Knapton Parish Council meeting

Two bitter rows caused angry scenes, noisy disruption and repeated serious accusations at last night's meeting of Knapton Parish Council.

Long-simmering tensions throughout the village over control of the parish allotments erupted into an angry stand-off between parish council chairman Sally Dodd and parish councillor Bea Gatfield.

Mrs Gatfield insisted on speaking out, despite constant warnings from Mrs Dodd that she should 'be very careful,' and repeatedly accused the chairman of tampering with a legal document by typing in a sentence.

Mrs Gatfield claimed the alleged addition had distorted the true situation relating to the allotments. She handed councillors copies of the original document and of the alleged altered version.

'I have been misled by the chair of the council. I have been misled and manipulated,' said Mrs Gatfield, who asked that a vote of no confidence in Mrs Dodd be added to the council's next agenda.


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Mrs Dodd defended her actions, claiming the addition had been clearly highlighted and was part of her notes.

Councillors later voted three-two to invite two independent experts from the Norfolk Rural Community Council to a meeting to discuss the allotments.

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But the uneasy peace was again shattered at the end of the meeting when another shouting match broke out between Mrs Dodd and members of the public about a by-election, to fill a parish council vacancy, due to take place tomorrow.

One of the two candidates, Robin Simmonds, repeatedly accused Mrs Dodd of usurping democracy by failing to let villagers know about the election and not asking North Norfolk District Council to produce poll cards.

And Graham Jones, district and county councillor, challenged her more than half a dozen times to say whether or not the district council had asked her if she wanted poll cards produced.

Mrs Dodd said both she and the parish clerk had been away when an email arrived asking whether cards were wanted.

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