Parish Councillors attempt to sack magazine editors in "ambush" at annual meeting

Updated with Soundcloud clips from the meeting on 19/5/15 at 17:30

At the first meeting of the newly elected Stradbroke Parish Council last night a group of councillors in what was clearly a planned political ambush tried to oust the four editors of the Stradbroke Monthly magazine and replace them with two former councillors Gillian Rennie-Dunkerly (wife of Roger Turkington) and Stuart Crane.

The ambush began with former parish clerk Pam Cane reading a statement in the public forum complaining that the magazine editors had failed to publish articles critical of me a year ago that she had submitted. She claimed that this showed the editors were biased.

Vice-Chairman of the Council Olly Last then attempted to use an item on the agenda that did not even mention the magazine to propose the replacement of the existing editors with Rennie-Dunkerly and Crane. Two of the magazine editors sat in the chamber unable to speak as Crane could be seen visibly smirking.

It took an intervention by former chairman Nick Stones and newly elected councillor Richard Pierce-Saunderson to insist that any action be taken in a meeting where it is on the agenda in advance and an extraordinary meeting for Tuesday 2nd June was proposed to decide the matter.

New councillors looked on confused and asked for more information about what the "problems" with the magazine actually were about and Olly Coles complained that this was brought up time and time again and was fed up with it.

It was Velda Lummis who really hit the nail on the head though when she looked at the public gallery and said this is personal.

That is exactly what this is. A personal vendetta by a group of councillors who want to settle a personal score.

In the run up to this election these councillors told many in Stradbroke that I was "the problem" and that getting rid of me from the council would be the solution.

Looking at the council last night it was hard to see how this was the case as once again the council indulged in fighting battles rather than putting its energy into positive action for Stradbroke. During my live blog last night someone asked me if the council would be discussing high speed broadband for the village. Sadly there was no time for this.

Disclosure: I am married to one of the four magazine editors and I help the team by collecting the magazines from the printers each month
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