Camborne councillor's apology after calling former member an "ass"
THE mayor of Camborne and a committee chairman have apologised after a former councillor was referred to as an "ass" during a debate and his proposal received a V-sign.
Several members of Camborne Town Council's amenities committee said they were shocked and appalled at the remarks by its chairman Jeff Collins and the mayor, Mike Champion.
Councillor Colin Godolphin, who represents Trelowarren ward, said they had been considering a written request by former councillor Tony Bunce to look into waste spread by seagulls and cats on bin day.
"During the debate we decided we'd write to Mr Bunce saying seagull-proof bin bags were available," he said, "but then the mayor put two fingers up and said that he [Mr Bunce] should 'go away and play'."
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The chairman then referred to Mr Bunce as an ass, he said: "It was unprofessional and, whatever the request, you don't tell someone to s*d off. They should have known better."
Councillor Jacqueline Merrick, who joined the council in February for the Treslothan ward, said she was shocked and even considered "throwing in the towel" in protest.
"It was unprofessional and rude," she said. "It's no wonder our electorate are so cynical.
"I found the way they maligned someone who used to belong to the club insulting. I asked for an apology but I was overruled by the chairman."
Mr Collins told the West Briton he would make an "unreserved apology for his inappropriate remarks during a heated debate.
"It wasn't anything personal and he is a decent man and was a good councillor; all I can do is apologise," he said.
Mr Champion said he had apologised during the meeting and did not want to comment further, as the matter was due to be considered at next Thursday's council meeting.
Mr Bunce said he wrote the letter expecting the town council to refer his concerns about rubbish to Cornwall Council.
"I've already spoken to Cornwall councillor Bert Biscoe [portfolio-holder for waste] and things have improved immensely," he said.
Regarding the members' comments Mr Bunce, a former Cornwall 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 hearsay."