Coronavirus: Hotly anticipated parish meeting called off amid bullying row
PUBLISHED: 16:49 16 March 2020 | UPDATED: 17:26 16 March 2020
Sonya Duncan/Breckland Council
A much anticipated town assembly has been postponed as a precautionary measure over the spread of coronavirus.
The meeting was expected to form the next instalment in the ongoing bullying row surrounding Attleborough Town Council (ATC), which has seen two members stripped of their committee roles.
Taila Taylor and deputy mayor, Ed Tyrer, have strongly denied the claims of “harassment, bullying and intimidation”.
Monday night’s scheduled meeting had been billed by the town council as the “official” parish meeting after around 200 people attended a gathering under the same guise at Connaught Hall on Thursday (March 12).
That event was organised by two of Breckland’s councillors for Attleborough, Tristan Ashby and Rhodri Oliver, who led almost three hours of debate on how the town can emerge from the crippling saga.
But now the town council’s own parish meeting, to be led by mayor Tony Crouch and town clerk Gina Lopes, has been called off as measures to protect against Covid-19 tighten.
While gatherings of any scale have not yet been officially banned by the government, ATC has postponed its annual get-together until further notice.
A spokesman for Attleborough Town Council said: “I confirm tonight’s meeting has been postponed after advice regarding the coronavirus pandemic from the Norfolk Association of Local Councils and Breckland Council’s decision to postpone their cabinet meeting.
“It was considered important to protect our residents as much as possible and not hold a mass gathering. We thank all our residents for their cooperation.”
Thursday’s parish meeting was attended by just one of the eight councillors who passed the motion to remove Miss Taylor and Mr Tyrer from committee duties, with the mayor among those absent.
Following an open forum lasting more than two hours, those in attendance approved parish polls - referendum-style questions which require a ‘yes’ or ‘no’ answer.
They voted almost unanimously for a parish poll as follows: ‘Should all serving town councillors of Attleborough Town Council immediately resign to allow for new elections of Attleborough Town Council?’
A second, unanimously approved parish poll read: ‘Should there be an investigation into whether or not the council is following its rules and procedures?’
The poll proposals have been lodged with Breckland Council, who decide whether it is valid to put them to the public.