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Princes Risborough cllr urged to apologise over Mayoral chain row
A DISTRICT councillor has been urged to say sorry to a town councillor after a row blew up over the wearing of mayoral chains.
Cllr Bill Bendyshe-Brown should “perhaps” send a written apology to Cllr Wally Woolf, a council solicitor said after an official complaint was made.
On September 16 at the Battle of Britain Ceremony in High Wycombe, Princes Risborough Town Councillor Wally Woolf wore the Mayor's chain, although he is not Mayor. Cllr Bill Bendyshe-Brown confronted Cllr Woolf on why he wore the chain.
Cllr Woolf complianed to Wycombe District Council, saying Cllr Bendyshe-Brown broke the council's Code of Conduct by failing to treat Cllr Woolf with respect and bringing the authority into disrepute.
The BFP last week saw the decision from WDC's District Solicitor and Monitoring Officer, David Ruddock.
It said Cllr Woolf was asked by Princes Risborough Mayor Gary Hall to wear the chain on his behalf and represent the council.
It said: "He further states that just before the parade was to take place, Cllr Bendyshe-Brown approached him in a crowded area, white with anger, pointing his finger, and shouted that he was not privileged to wear the chain and demanded that he took it off immediately, which he did not."
It said Cllr Woolf was extremely embarrassed.
It further says Cllr Bendyshe-Brown said Cllr Woolf wearing the chain caused him personal embarrassment.
Mr Ruddock said the chairman or mayor would normally wear the chain, adding: "Given that the wearing of the chain is a very visible sign of civic status, and it was being worn by Cllr Woolf on an important ceremonial occasion, Cllr Bendyshe-Brown had a legitimate basis to question Cllr Woolf's wearing of it.
"However in doing so he appears to have delivered an audible rebuke which caused considerable embarrassment and offence to Cllr Woolf, particularly in view of the circumstances in which the conversation took place."
But he added the incident was of a relatively minor nature.
Mr Ruddock wrote: "I nevertheless consider local resolution to be appropriate and I would strongly recommend that further attempts are made to resolve this dispute, perhaps by way of a written apology from Cllr Bendyshe-Brown to Cllr Woolf, in view of the fact that public disagreements of this nature do not reflect well on either councillors or their authorities."
At this month's PRTC meeting Cllr Woolf's wife, Doreen, demanded an apology from Cllr Bendyshe-Brown. He replied: "No comment."