Camborne councillor's apology after calling former member an "ass"
Two town councillors in Camborne have said they are sorry after making inappropriate remarks about a former member - calling him an “ass” and gesticulating with one finger - during a heated council debate.
During last week’s amenities committee meeting several members said they were shocked and appalled at the remarks made by the chairman, councillor Jeff Collins and mayor Mike Champion.
Councillor Colin Godolphin, for Trelowarren ward, said they had been considering a written request by former councillor, Tony Bunce to look into the problem of waste being spread by seagulls and cats during bin day.
Mr Godolphin said: “During the debate we decided that we would write to Mr Bunce saying that seagull proof bin bags were available. But then the mayor said what we should do and he put two fingers up and said that he (Mr Bunce) should go away and play.”
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Mr Godolphin then said that the chairman referred to Mr Bunce as an “ass”.
“It was unprofessional and whatever the request you don’t tell someone to sod off, they should have known better,” added Mr Godolphin.
Horrified member, councillor Jacqueline Merrick, who joined the council in February on the Treslothan ward, said she was shocked at their comments and even considered “throwing in the towel.”
She said: “It was unprofessional and rude. It is no wonder that our electorate are so cynical. I found it insulting the way they maligned someone that used to belong to the club. I asked for an apology but I was over ruled by the chairman.”
Mr Collins told the West Briton that he would be making an “unreserved apology for his inappropriate remarks during a heated debate.”
He said: “It wasn’t anything personal and he is a decent man and was a good councillor, all I can do is apologise.”
Mr Champion said that he had apologised during the meeting and did not want to comment any further as the matter was being considered at next Thursday’s council meeting.
Mr Bunce said he wrote the letter expecting the town council to refer his concerns about the waste Cornwall Council.
“I have already spoken to Cornwall Councillor Bert Biscoe (portfolio holder for waste) and things have improved immensely.”
When asked about the members’ comments, Mr Bunce, a former Cornwall councillor and town councillor, said: “I have written to the town clerk and I am waiting for a response. I was surprised that the councillors personalised my request and decided to have a pop at me. I haven’t seen the minutes and don’t want to respond to hear say.”