A COUNCILLOR who was kicked out of a meeting last week has accused Shaftesbury Town Council (STC) of “bypassing democracy”, after he was “excluded” from all of the authority’s committees.

STC has various sub-groups to help advise on town matters, including the Planning and Highways committee, the Recreation, Open Spaces and Environment committee, the Human Resources committee (HR) and the General Management committee (GEM), and at last Tuesday’s full council meeting it was time to decide which members should be in which group for the year.

Prior to the meeting Councillor Piers Brown had put forward his suggestions for which councillors should be in which committee, which was then put to a vote.

Cllr Peter Yeo, pictured, criticised the suggested make up however, claiming himself and Cllr Karen Tippins were “excluded” from every group.

During the meeting he said: “Cllr Brown has put forward a proposal where basically himself and his favourite councillors can prize every committee and myself and Cllr Tippins are excluded from every committee, despite the fact we’re all supposedly equal councillors elected by the people of Shaftesbury. This is not democracy.”

He later added: “You [STC] are failing the people of Shaftesbury and it’s a total disgrace on all of you.”

In response Cllr Brown said he had come up with the committee suggestions based on who “[he] believed was the best person for the job”.

He added that Cllr Yeo had used his opportunity to speak during this agenda item to “s**g [him] off”, adding: “These individuals have been selected based on their skill and their talent alone and therefore I believe they will do the best for both the town council and the people of Shaftesbury in this role.”

Councillors were asked to either support Cllr Brown’s proposal, or support a second option put forward, which was to abolish the GEM and HR committees and split councillors between the remaining groups, excluding Cllr Matthew Welch.

As a majority of members voted for the first option, Cllr Yeo claimed the authority was “bypassing democracy”, in particular commenting on the purpose of the GEM committee and how these members were selected.

After further interruptions however, he was voted to be excluded from the meeting.

  • By the end of the item the following committees were appointed:

Planning and Highways - Alex Chase, Andy Hollingshead, John Lewer, Jeanne Loader, Phil Proctor, Matthew Welch

Recreation, Open Spaces and Environment - Tim Cook, George Hall, John Lewer, Jeanne Loader, Phil Proctor, Piers Brown

Human Resources - Piers Brown, Alex Chase, Tim Cook, Jeanne Loader, Phil Proctor

General Management - Alex Chase, Matthew Welch, George Hall, Piers Brown, John Lewer, Tim Cook, Phil Proctor