Mayor slams town council ‘bickering’

NEAALM110810B2 - Cllr Ken Woodhead on Princes street Eastwood
NEAALM110810B2 - Cllr Ken Woodhead on Princes street Eastwood

EASTWOOD Town Mayor Ken Woodhead has slammed his fellow town councillors for their constant bickering.

Reflecting on his year in office, Cllr Woodhead said his duties had been muddied by disagreements between councillors, who had not worked for the town as they should have done.

Making his outgoing speech at Eastwood Town Council’s annual meeting on Monday he described the council’s actions over the past 12 months as a year of doing ‘very little for the people of Eastwood’.

“We have had a year of us doing very little for Eastwood only to argue against one another with no outcome at the end of it for Eastwood people,” he said.

“We can keep on fighting on issues, but where is an end to it? When does it stop and we look at issues we have in Eastwood?

“I have gained a lot of know how. The only down side to my year is to see the bickering and people not getting on and working together for the benefit of the people of Eastwood in which we are elected to represent.

“We as a council should pull together not apart for the benefit of the people,” he said.

The Mayor pledged to make a new start, after several people in the public gallery agreed the council had not been run as it should.

“It’s time to move on,” he added. “A new start working in harmony with each other and put aside personal issues, leaving them outside of council meetings.

“As a councillor, I will always work for the people on all issues and is always the main object for me, but I can only do this with all the help of everybody. Let’s hope the coming year will be better for all of us.”

Reflecting on happier moments, Cllr Woodhead told the meeting that being Mayor had been one of his ‘biggest honours’.

“I have received and done it with great pride,” he said.

“I have met some wonderful people in Eastwood. They are the salt of the earth and should do all we can for them to make Eastwood a better place to be in.”

During public question time David Page said he wanted more ‘commitment’ from councillors and to see them work together in the future.

And Vicki Jones said the council handled the allotment saga ‘terribly’ and she wanted to see the reputation of the council improve over the next year.

Eastwood Town Council hit the headlines nationally earlier this month when the Advertiser broke the news that they had taken pensioner Arthur Martin’s allotment off him because he had a bad hip.

The story gathered huge public support and at a meeting attended by over 100 members of the public, Mr Martin had his allotment reinstated.

Town council clerk Chris Thompson said he received hundreds of letters of complaint over the matter from all over the country.

A new Mayor will be elected to represent the town for the coming year on May 14.

It is expected that Cllr Don Rowley, who is the current deputy mayor, will take over the chains of office.