Tuesday, 01 December 2020

Councillor apologises over chairman's resignation

THE former chairman of Peppard Parish Council has received an apology from the councillor involved in

THE former chairman of Peppard Parish Council has received an apology from the councillor involved in a row that led to his resignation.

Councillor Fiona Berry also implied that she would like Barry Wood to return, saying he “still has a lot to contibute”.

The pair argued at a council meeting last week over a change in the order of the agenda proposed by Councillor Wood.

Cllr Berry felt that the council should vote on the issue as it was “part of due process”.

But Cllr Wood, a former mayor of Henley, said he had “lost interest” in chairing the meeting and walked out, saying it was “impossible” for him to continue and he was resigning.

In an email to Cllr Wood, Cllr Berry said: “I would like to sincerely apologise if I caused you to resign from the parish council. A change of agenda has to be proposed and voted on â?? I really could not understand what you were proposing.

“Perhaps because of your experience, I assumed you were knowledgeable on how we have to work. However, this may have been unrealistic as you have had a lot to take on board in a very short time. I am sorry you left, you had a lot to contribute.”

Mr Wood was co-opted on to the council in September and became chairman in  February.

Cllr Berry also responded to Mr Wood’s accusation during the meeting that she and her husband Kevin Browne, who spoke from the public gallery, were working together to criticise him. She said there was no “hidden agenda.”

Mr Browne had stated his support for Councillor Veronica Treacher who, at a previous meeting, had accused Mr Wood of bullying her after they disagreed over what was a valid excuse for her to miss a meeting.

Cllr Treacher had sent apologies for her absence at the previous meeting because she was preparing for elections. She was a Labour candidate for South Oxfordshire District Council in the Woodcote and Rotherfield ward and agent for Sam Juthani, Labour’s Henley parliamentary candidate.

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