Lib Dem Councillor apologises for using “inappropriate language” at meeting

Jon WilliamsMinutes recently published on the website of Bradley Stoke Town Council reveal that Cllr Jon Williams (Lib Dem) has made a formal apology for using “inappropriate language” at a meeting of the Full Council on 3rd December last year (2008).

The remarks in question were made after fellow Councillors had voted to switch funding for youth club provision in the town from Southern Brooks Community Partnership (where Mr Williams is a trustee) to South Gloucestershire Council.

That decision will also see all Council funded youth clubs in the town switching to the Brook Way Activity Centre – a reversal of a policy introduced earlier in 2008 that saw the Council imposing room rental charges on youth clubs operating anywhere other than Baileys Court.

The minutes of the 3rd December meeting record that:

Councillor Jon Williams commented that in his opinion the resolution had been passed without any reference to the evidence, adding “You are unable to make an educated decision; I think you are all a bunch of w*****s” and stood up to leave the meeting. Councillor Robert Jones asked that he withdraw these remarks, but Councillor Williams left.

It was then proposed by Councillor John Ashe, seconded by Councillor Mark Forsyth and carried (with one abstention) that Councillor Williams’ remarks be minuted as inappropriate language. It was then proposed by Councillor Ronnie Conway Haskins, seconded by Councillor Robert Jones and carried (with two abstentions) that Councillor Williams be asked to apologise to Council.

Cllr Williams’ written apology was received at a meeting of the Full Council on 17th December:

It was proposed by Councillor Mark Forsyth, seconded by Councillor Sarah Pomfret and carried, that Councillor Jon Williams’ apology to Council following Minute should be recorded. He wrote, “I would like to apologise for my outburst as I left the meeting tonight. It was unacceptable and I shouldn’t have said it. I still think you made the wrong decision based on absolutely no evidence and will do the youth in the town no favours at all.”

Cllr Williams did not attend the 17th December meeting, in protest at the business being debated – a proposal to abandon the Council’s previously announced plan to move its offices to the Willow Brook Centre in favour of extending one of its own activity centres to provide the required space.

No agenda was published for the meeting of 17th December, which Council Chair Robert Jones says was “arranged at short notice”. That would appear to be in violation of the policy defined in the Council’s Publication Scheme and, by extension, its Standing Orders (constitution), as members of the public were not given the opportunity to attend.

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