AN ANGRY resident, upset at how she was treated at public council meetings, has received an apology from Wycombe's council chief.

Alex Collingwood, Conservative, Leader of Wycombe District Council has written to Dr Linda Derrick to say sorry after she complained about his and other colleagues' conduct.

An investigation is underway.

Dr Derrick, an active member of the Labour party, felt she was dealt with in a derogatory and unfair manner at meetings in February and April.

She has already received an apology for a similar complaint last year and said she felt she could not let it lie.

Dr Derrick has asked for a full formal investigation, believing the behaviour of councillors has not improved.

The Widmer End resident wrote: “I was not happy at the council in February when I asked a question and Councillor Collingwood referred to me in a derogatory way in his supplementary answer as 'an unsuccessful candidate for the council'.”

Ms Derrick, a retired civil servant, stood for election last May but lost.

She was unhappy that it was also inferred she held a formal role as a researcher for Labour group leader Cllr Victoria Groulef, which she said was untrue.

She said: “I thought his comment was completely irrelevant to the question I asked and was inappropriate and discourteous.

“I let the comment pass at the time but the behaviour of Conservative councillors deteriorated sharply at the April 16 meeting.”

Though not heckled, she claimed the noise levels at that meeting made it impossible to hear the answer she was seeking.

She said: “Clearly, this is not on. As a member of the public I should be able to ask a question, get an answer and seek clarification if need be in public at a Council meeting. That is what transparency and accountability is all about.”

She also accused Conservative councillors of misbehaving towards other members of the public, saying it left her 'dismayed'.

WDC spokesman Sue Robinson said Dr Derrick's complaints fully are being investigated fully and handled via the council's complaints procedure.

Dr Derrick has accepted an invitation to meet with Cllrs Mallen and Collingwood later this month.

Cllr Alex Collingwood has written to Dr Derrick, saying: " I wish to offer an apology for the way your question was treated by me at the meeting."