Friday, 27 November 2020

Cheers and jeers from the public gallery

IT did not carry the usual feel of a Henley Town Council meeting but then it was an extraordinary one.

For a start, the usual half a dozen attendees in the public gallery were replaced by about 40 people. Even residents of Benson and Nettlebed, who would usually have no reason to attend, were present. Two members of the town council’s park staff acted as marshals.

There was a cross-section of supporters and protesters. Joanna Franks, 42, of Greys Road, wore a blue T-shirt carrying the words “I’m so gay I cause localised flooding”.

The meeting was allocated a half-hour slot but lasted 45 minutes longer as a dozen people voiced their opinions.

Opinion was divided between those calling for the resignation of Councillor David Silvester and those who defended his right to speech. Opponents of same-sex marriage had their say and there were also those who sympathised with Cllr Silvester’s views that its legalisation was the cause of the recent storms and floods.

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