Ellie Ames 28 July 2023

Parish council row ‘worse than Jackie Weaver’

Parish council row ‘worse than Jackie Weaver’ image
Image: Carl Milner / Shutterstock.com.

Thornton-le-Dale Parish Council has suspended its activities after a meeting, broadcast online, broke into a row and mass walkout, with several councillors later resigning.

Two years after Jackie Weaver and Handforth Parish Council rose to fame, a recording of a similarly disorderly meeting at a North Yorkshire parish council has sparked online interest.

North Yorkshire county councillor Janet Sanderson said the situation was ‘far worse than Jackie Weaver’.

On 18 July, councillors in Thornton-le-Dale fell out while discussing the result of a non-binding poll of residents, which had seen the majority of voters in favour of dissolving the council.

After eight minutes, the meeting was aborted as councillors walked out.

A week later, when the council met again, the clerk announced that three councillors had resigned and closed the meeting.

Now, a statement on the council’s website says: ‘Until Further Notice - Due to the Parish Council being inquorate; there will be no further meetings of the Council; All activities will be stopped, which includes grass cutting and burials in the Cemetery, until further advice is sought.’

North Yorkshire councillor Janet Sanderson, whose area includes Thornton-le-Dale, said: ‘I have had parish councils fail in the past, but this is on a completely different scale and its roots are complex.

‘Residents struggle to understand the motivation for what appears to be irrational decision making and the chaotic behaviour of a handful of parish council members.’

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