Ashfield councillor sanctioned after making "personal and offensive" comments to county council leader during meetings

Ashfield councillor Jason Zadrozny has been formally reprimanded after making "personal and offensive" comments to Nottinghamshire County Council leader Cllr Kay Cutts.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 4:45 pm
Updated Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 5:37 pm

At a private hearing of the county council’s Governance and Ethics Sub-committee, on February 18, it was found that Cllr Zadrozny, who leads Ashfield Independents, but made the comments in his role as a county councillor, breached a code of conduct.

Comments made by Cllr Zadrozny in three separate meetings included calling Cllr Cutts “racist,” “homophobic,” “Islamophobic” and a “mean spirited, grumpy old woman.”

A councillor complaints decision notice on the county council’s website on March 1 said the hearing found that at a meeting of a policy committee on May 13 2020, Cllr Zadrozny accused Cllr Cutts of being, “personally culpable for deaths, for mental illness increasing, for poverty, for hunger.”

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Councillor Kay Cutts, leader of Nottinghamshire County Council.

And, at an abandoned council AGM on May 28, 2020, Cllr Zadrozny had called her “arrogant, a disgrace and unfit to be the Leader of the Council.” At the same AGM, it was reported he had “stated something along the lines of If you treat people like filth on the bottom of your shoe then they won’t go with you.”

At a full council meeting on June 11, 2020 the report claimed that Cllr Zadrozny said to Cllr Cutts: “I will not be labelled a racist by a bigoted leader of this council, who has been homophobic, Islamophobic and racist herself. And she can take umbrage as much as she likes but I will not tolerate that abuse from a mean spirited, grumpy old woman.

“How dare she? My grandfather fought for this country so that we had the right to fight the Nazi regimes. She might as well put a swastika up on that wall. How dare she.

“Who was racist? Who was racist? Who said hunt them down? You’re suggesting Kay, that my group behaved in the same way as her racist members who should be kicked out...”

Jason Zadrozny, leader of Ashfield District Council and a Nottinghamshire County Councillor

The impact of the comments on Cllr Cuts and Cllr Zadrozny’s view that he had been ‘provoked’ and had apologised were considered. There was some dispute over the claims at the abandoned meeting on May 28, 2020 although Cllr Zadrozny accepted that he had referred to Cllr Cutts as ‘treating people like they were filth on your shoes.’”

The hearing found Cllr Zadrozny “failed to show Cllr Cutts respect; behaved in an offensive manner making personal and offensive remarks and conducted himself in a manner bringing himself and council into disrepute.”

The sub-committee “felt Cllr Zadrozny’s behaviour warranted a sanction” and a formal censure was issued for his behaviour, to be published on the council website for 30 days.

A spokesperson for Nottinghamshire County Council said Cllr Cutts did not wish to comment. Ashfield District Council also did not comment.

Ashfield MP Lee Anderson said: “It’s sad to see Cllr Zadrozny stoop to these levels. Its a far cry from the General Election when he promised to do things differently. I hope he can put politics to one side and help put an end to this latest sordid episode.”