Town Council meeting branded a 'farce and a circus'

Town Council meeting branded a 'farce and a circus'

Town Council meeting branded a 'farce and a circus'

First published in News
Last updated

FARCICAL, embarrassing and a circus - some of the words used to describe a meeting of the Charter Trustees as they clashed over whether to progress a petition for a town council for High Wycombe.

The Mayor of High Wycombe Cllr Trevor Snaith has been accused of trying to bulldoze through a motion to start a petition which could trigger a Community Governance Review if it gained enough support from residents.

Cllr Tony Green questioned whether Mayor Snaith should remain as the town's 'first citizen', claiming his politically driven behaviour was an ‘abuse of office’.

Currently, Wycombe does not have a town council of its own – merely a town committee within the District Council which has no executive powers.

The Mayor used his casting vote to push through the motion to petition for a town council nine votes to eight – despite furious claims from trustees against the idea that he had not originally voted, meaning the motion would have been lost otherwise.

He claimed his hand was up all along and had taken advice from the district solicitor to check the Mayor had the right to ‘vote twice’ - sparking a huge row in the Council Chamber last Tuesday.

The Town Clerk Bill Reid had to seek advice from the National Secretary of Charter Trustees about the voting process before he was able to verify the result – and is still awaiting this, so the outcome of the vote remains unclear.

The voting fiasco was the icing on top of a rocky meeting which featured clashes over the legitimacy of a document outlining the petition proposal.

The motion was tabled by Cllr Ray Farmer but the paperwork had the Mayor’s Crest on it. The Town Clerk also claimed he had not seen the paper prior to the meeting.

Mayor Snaith called it a simple "administrative error".

Cllrs Tony Green and Lesley Clarke ripped into the paper - which outlined the motion, the positives of a town council and negatives of the High Wycombe Town Committee - calling it "biased" and "full of untruths".

Members questioned whether the Charter Trustees - town councillors who perform ceremonial duties and who should also be apolitical - should even be debating a politically charged issue.

They also rowed about whether a special meeting should have been called for the debate, as the Mayor adjourned to enable the trustees to put their councillor hats on for the town committee meeting before calling the trustees back.

It meant a representative from the Buckinghamshire Association for Local Councils, who arrived for the 6pm start of the trustees’ meeting, was forced to wait until 9.40pm before she was finally called on to speak.

The Mayor cut the debate off at 10pm to hold the vote as members needed to leave the chamber - despite trustees indicating they still wished to speak on the matter.

The voting fiasco was followed by a row in the chamber, with councillors branding the meeting "a farce" and "embarrassing". The Mayor admitted it was "a bit of a circus".

Bucks Free Press: Cllr Tony Green

  • FOLLOWING the meeting, Cllr Green, pictured above, said: "I’m outraged. The Mayor claimed he voted when it was clear to me and others he didn’t - It was dishonest.

"This meeting, along with things like the Mayoral Arch and talking about ‘leaving a legacy’, has gone in a different direction to all those mayors in the past. I believe he is abusing the office.

"He has two months left in office and he is trying to bulldoze things through to cement his legacy as Mayor. The position is important, not the person who holds its, and I am disgusted by his behaviour."

He added the debate and vote on whether to progress the petition should be held again.

Mayor Snaith reiterated the headed document was an honest mistake and the Charter Trustees was the right place for a town council debate as similar proposals were brought forward by the trustees in 1994 and 2001.

The Mayor was, however, disappointed by the behaviour and "political banter" between trustees in the chambers.

Addressing Cllr Green’s comments about the motion being "bulldozed", Mayor Snaith said: "It was brought forward by the Charter Trustees, following a discussion of a working party, and seconded by the Mayor elect which would suggest it is a theme he wishes to continue with."

  • DURING the debate itself, Cllrs Julie Wassell and Matt Knight backed the launch of a petition.

Cllr Wassell said formulating a town council was a prerequisite to a unitary authority, making the vote "one of the most important decision we will ever make" as it was "fundamental to the democracy of Wycombe town".

Cllr Knight said he believed it was important to give residents the chance to decide what they wanted, while Cllr Brian Pearce said a town council would be the "lesser of two evils" as he did not want to see the town potentially fragmented by various parish councils springing up.

But Cllr Lesley Clarke pulled up the claims made in the circulated Mayor's Parlour document that Wycombe ‘lacks a voice, democracy, representation and control’.

She pointed out the same hard working councillors that would sit on a town council already sat on the town committee, which she said worked well.

Cllr Clarke said a town council "would only add another layer of bureaucracy" to local government and increase council tax for residents by up to five times its current level.

Comments (15)

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2:09pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Bartholomew HuckleBerry says...

With all the clowns like Snaith and Tett starring the show , can anyone expect different ? So many broken pledges, failures and complacencies , these useless must be held to account for all their failures in public office ! How is it legal for them to stay in this job ? If they ever read this and have a shred of self respect form themselves or their family then they would step down now !
With all the clowns like Snaith and Tett starring the show , can anyone expect different ? So many broken pledges, failures and complacencies , these useless must be held to account for all their failures in public office ! How is it legal for them to stay in this job ? If they ever read this and have a shred of self respect form themselves or their family then they would step down now ! Bartholomew HuckleBerry
  • Score: 1

2:46pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Darren Hayday says...

LOL - Oh boy I would have loved to have been in that room - was it televised?

Wycombe should have its own Town Council. Its the only town in the whole of Bucks that isn’t allowed because of Cllrs Green and Clarke do not want to let go of any Tory power in Wycombe.

Its the same reasoning as to why the Tories are also blocking having a Unitary Council.

I think the petition is a good thing for our democracy.

it's high time that things start to change in the Town, if not the County an Country.

PS - I also think that it is "ego" when it comes to the chair arch.
LOL - Oh boy I would have loved to have been in that room - was it televised? Wycombe should have its own Town Council. Its the only town in the whole of Bucks that isn’t allowed because of Cllrs Green and Clarke do not want to let go of any Tory power in Wycombe. Its the same reasoning as to why the Tories are also blocking having a Unitary Council. I think the petition is a good thing for our democracy. it's high time that things start to change in the Town, if not the County an Country. PS - I also think that it is "ego" when it comes to the chair arch. Darren Hayday
  • Score: -1

4:25pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Scarletto says...

Snaith meant well and I can't see what fuss is about by others.
Snaith meant well and I can't see what fuss is about by others. Scarletto
  • Score: -2

4:46pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Marcus Khalil says...

Darren Hayday wrote:
LOL - Oh boy I would have loved to have been in that room - was it televised?

Wycombe should have its own Town Council. Its the only town in the whole of Bucks that isn’t allowed because of Cllrs Green and Clarke do not want to let go of any Tory power in Wycombe.

Its the same reasoning as to why the Tories are also blocking having a Unitary Council.

I think the petition is a good thing for our democracy.

it's high time that things start to change in the Town, if not the County an Country.

PS - I also think that it is "ego" when it comes to the chair arch.
It is a memorial arch that is NOT made of chairs actually!
If I recall Darren is the one that wants Brian Pearce to become Mayor - funny that when Brian is one of the ones who gave Trevor the idea of an arch in the first place. Both muppets Hayday and Pearce!
[quote][p][bold]Darren Hayday[/bold] wrote: LOL - Oh boy I would have loved to have been in that room - was it televised? Wycombe should have its own Town Council. Its the only town in the whole of Bucks that isn’t allowed because of Cllrs Green and Clarke do not want to let go of any Tory power in Wycombe. Its the same reasoning as to why the Tories are also blocking having a Unitary Council. I think the petition is a good thing for our democracy. it's high time that things start to change in the Town, if not the County an Country. PS - I also think that it is "ego" when it comes to the chair arch.[/p][/quote]It is a memorial arch that is NOT made of chairs actually! If I recall Darren is the one that wants Brian Pearce to become Mayor - funny that when Brian is one of the ones who gave Trevor the idea of an arch in the first place. Both muppets Hayday and Pearce! Marcus Khalil
  • Score: 1

8:08pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Darren Hayday says...

Marcus Khalil wrote:
Darren Hayday wrote:
LOL - Oh boy I would have loved to have been in that room - was it televised?

Wycombe should have its own Town Council. Its the only town in the whole of Bucks that isn’t allowed because of Cllrs Green and Clarke do not want to let go of any Tory power in Wycombe.

Its the same reasoning as to why the Tories are also blocking having a Unitary Council.

I think the petition is a good thing for our democracy.

it's high time that things start to change in the Town, if not the County an Country.

PS - I also think that it is "ego" when it comes to the chair arch.
It is a memorial arch that is NOT made of chairs actually!
If I recall Darren is the one that wants Brian Pearce to become Mayor - funny that when Brian is one of the ones who gave Trevor the idea of an arch in the first place. Both muppets Hayday and Pearce!
Erm well that was a little un-Islamic wasn't it Marcus? You decide to label me a "muppet"? Either you are trying to make a name for yourself in local politics or you are doing your best to provoke me? (perhaps in the local WDC elections for the Libdems…..)
I agreed about your comments previously but find you now throwing mud pies? Allah judges us all by our words and actions sir.
[quote][p][bold]Marcus Khalil[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Darren Hayday[/bold] wrote: LOL - Oh boy I would have loved to have been in that room - was it televised? Wycombe should have its own Town Council. Its the only town in the whole of Bucks that isn’t allowed because of Cllrs Green and Clarke do not want to let go of any Tory power in Wycombe. Its the same reasoning as to why the Tories are also blocking having a Unitary Council. I think the petition is a good thing for our democracy. it's high time that things start to change in the Town, if not the County an Country. PS - I also think that it is "ego" when it comes to the chair arch.[/p][/quote]It is a memorial arch that is NOT made of chairs actually! If I recall Darren is the one that wants Brian Pearce to become Mayor - funny that when Brian is one of the ones who gave Trevor the idea of an arch in the first place. Both muppets Hayday and Pearce![/p][/quote]Erm well that was a little un-Islamic wasn't it Marcus? You decide to label me a "muppet"? Either you are trying to make a name for yourself in local politics or you are doing your best to provoke me? (perhaps in the local WDC elections for the Libdems…..) I agreed about your comments previously but find you now throwing mud pies? Allah judges us all by our words and actions sir. Darren Hayday
  • Score: 0

9:56pm Mon 10 Mar 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

Why was his behaviour in calling you a muppet specifically un-Islamic?
Why was his behaviour in calling you a muppet specifically un-Islamic? Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: 4

11:46am Tue 11 Mar 14

M40 says...

People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new.

Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go.

High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support.

More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life

A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.
People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new. Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go. High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support. More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash. M40
  • Score: 11

12:25pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

M40 wrote:
People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new.

Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go.

High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support.

More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life

A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.
A lot of this makes sense.
[quote][p][bold]M40[/bold] wrote: People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new. Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go. High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support. More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.[/p][/quote]A lot of this makes sense. Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: 5

2:31pm Tue 11 Mar 14

sai-diva says...

"He has two months left in office and he is trying to bulldoze things through to cement his legacy as Mayor''
Pot, Kettle, Black, Eden centre or rugby stadium anyone?
Anything that breaks the stranglehold the old school tories have on this town's centre is good as far as I'm concerned.
"He has two months left in office and he is trying to bulldoze things through to cement his legacy as Mayor'' Pot, Kettle, Black, Eden centre or rugby stadium anyone? Anything that breaks the stranglehold the old school tories have on this town's centre is good as far as I'm concerned. sai-diva
  • Score: 4

3:28pm Tue 11 Mar 14

Darren Hayday says...

M40 wrote:
People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new.

Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go.

High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support.

More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life

A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.
Hear hear! I agree!
[quote][p][bold]M40[/bold] wrote: People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new. Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go. High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support. More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! I agree! Darren Hayday
  • Score: 0

4:28pm Wed 12 Mar 14

Bartholomew HuckleBerry says...

All the clowns aka BCC councillors with their political mambo jambo !!! All in all it is simply about trying to get in power !! What they forget is the electorate once they are in that power. All of you deserve the utmost apathy and disgrace , you loathsome creatures !
All the clowns aka BCC councillors with their political mambo jambo !!! All in all it is simply about trying to get in power !! What they forget is the electorate once they are in that power. All of you deserve the utmost apathy and disgrace , you loathsome creatures ! Bartholomew HuckleBerry
  • Score: 0

5:48pm Thu 13 Mar 14

townraider says...

Darren Hayday wrote:
M40 wrote:
People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new.

Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go.

High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support.

More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life

A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.
Hear hear! I agree!
The Mayor is doing the right thing for our town
[quote][p][bold]Darren Hayday[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]M40[/bold] wrote: People only need to walk through High Wycombe to see there is a need for change, new ideas are needed so out with the old in with something new. Leslie Clarke retired so why doesn't she go, her five times higher council tax claims are false just like her, she has nothing to back up that statement or mention of the savings made getting rid of the Town committee, after decades of misleading actions from this woman she should go. High Wycombe Town should have a voice, for too long what goes on at the centre of High Wycombe has been at the mercy of the councillors representing the surrounding villages the domain of the main Tory support. More council tax money per head is spent on those living on Wycombe's outskirts than those living in the town, spent on people who can better afford the good things of life A war on waste should start in the villages where expenditure on the crackpot whims of a minority of residents get supported with council taxpayers cash.[/p][/quote]Hear hear! I agree![/p][/quote]The Mayor is doing the right thing for our town townraider
  • Score: 1

10:34pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

Bartholomew HuckleBerry wrote:
All the clowns aka BCC councillors with their political mambo jambo !!! All in all it is simply about trying to get in power !! What they forget is the electorate once they are in that power. All of you deserve the utmost apathy and disgrace , you loathsome creatures !
How can you deserve apathy - disgrace fair enough - but apathy?
[quote][p][bold]Bartholomew HuckleBerry[/bold] wrote: All the clowns aka BCC councillors with their political mambo jambo !!! All in all it is simply about trying to get in power !! What they forget is the electorate once they are in that power. All of you deserve the utmost apathy and disgrace , you loathsome creatures ![/p][/quote]How can you deserve apathy - disgrace fair enough - but apathy? Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: 0

10:35pm Sat 15 Mar 14

Undercover Euro Yob says...

Oh - apathy from the public!
Oh - apathy from the public! Undercover Euro Yob
  • Score: 0

6:59pm Sun 16 Mar 14

J B Blackett says...

Bartholomew HuckleBerry wrote:
All the clowns aka BCC councillors with their political mambo jambo !!! All in all it is simply about trying to get in power !! What they forget is the electorate once they are in that power. All of you deserve the utmost apathy and disgrace , you loathsome creatures !
Political mambo jambo ? A divisive but tuneful Latin American little number ,
penned by a once famous local musician/composerpia
nist Steve Race , who used to live in the Beaconsfield area.
.
What ever happened to Music ? Has it become prohibited ?
[quote][p][bold]Bartholomew HuckleBerry[/bold] wrote: All the clowns aka BCC councillors with their political mambo jambo !!! All in all it is simply about trying to get in power !! What they forget is the electorate once they are in that power. All of you deserve the utmost apathy and disgrace , you loathsome creatures ![/p][/quote]Political mambo jambo ? A divisive but tuneful Latin American little number , penned by a once famous local musician/composerpia nist Steve Race , who used to live in the Beaconsfield area. . What ever happened to Music ? Has it become prohibited ? J B Blackett
  • Score: 2

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