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‘Our town is a laughing stock’ - Town hits out at council following ‘shambles’ of a meeting

PUBLISHED: 13:18 18 February 2020 | UPDATED: 11:16 20 February 2020

Members of the public descended on an Attleborough Town Council meeting, which had barred the public and press. Photo: Bethany Wales

Members of the public descended on an Attleborough Town Council meeting, which had barred the public and press. Photo: Bethany Wales

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A town council which had a meeting crashed by police has been branded “a laughing stock”, with almost 200 people filing letters calling for the mayor’s resignation.

Protestors at Attleborough Town Council meeting, in which public were denied access to discussion. Photo: SubmittedProtestors at Attleborough Town Council meeting, in which public were denied access to discussion. Photo: Submitted

On Monday night, police were called to an extraordinary meeting by Attleborough Town Council, as more than 50 people refused to leave during a discussion which was due to be heard in private.

The discussion related to proposals to remove two elected councillors, Taila Taylor and Edward Tyrer - from positions within the council.

Tony Crouch, the town mayor, left the meeting before the discussion could take place, after Ms Taylor criticised the decision to exclude the public.

People in the town are now calling for the council to be dissolved, in the hope that a reshuffle will put to rest a conflict which has been brewing for more than a year.

Sign left by protestors at Attleborough Town Council meeting, in which public were denied access to discussion. Photo: SubmittedSign left by protestors at Attleborough Town Council meeting, in which public were denied access to discussion. Photo: Submitted

A former town council member, who did not wish to be named, said the council had made Attleborough "a laughing stock" by failing to reconcile, and that the community would be damaged by the negative publicity.

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He went on: "This seriously weakens Attleborough's position when negotiating with potential developers and businesses looking to move here. This is an important time for the town looking ahead to the future and they are making us a laughing stock. It's a complete disgrace."

There has been widespread public support for Ms Taylor and Mr Tyrer in recent weeks, with the meeting hearing how scores of letters had been sent to the council backing the pair.

People volunteered to be arrested at an Attleborough Town Council meeting. Photo: Bethany WalesPeople volunteered to be arrested at an Attleborough Town Council meeting. Photo: Bethany Wales

One woman said: "Taila has done so much for Attleborough in her own time and has committed to it wholeheartedly whilst being shot down by people that should have supported her and her wishes for the whole town. Is the rest of the town council so old and stuck in their iron age ways that they cannot fathom the concept of a younger person, especially female expressing the wants and rights of this community?"

Another man, who lives in the town, added: "After witnessing the shambles last night, I think they really need to disband the current council and have another election for all positions - including the mayor. It's beyond me how they can properly function as a council with such a divide."

The council has also been criticised for the timing of the meeting, which Mr Tyrer's wife said her husband had "already stated he could not make because of personal reasons".

We contacted Attleborough Town Council but were told there was nobody available to comment.

Police at an Attleborough Town Council meeting. Photo: Bethany WalesPolice at an Attleborough Town Council meeting. Photo: Bethany Wales

Mr Crouch said he had been advised by his solicitor not to comment on anything related to the town council.


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