Selston Parish councillor resigns in public speaking row

A Selston Parish Councillor resigned at a parish council meeting last night, citing her 'dissatisfaction' at the way the council works.

Coun Christine Quinn-Wilcox, who has served as a parish councillor for five years, resigned at a meeting of the council last night (March 25).

CounChristine Quinn-Wilcox with friend Sue

CounChristine Quinn-Wilcox with friend Sue

Coun Quinn-Wilcox, who is also a district councillor for Ashfield Independents stated that the public not being allowed to ask questions during the meeting also played a part in her resignation.

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The meeting agenda did not include the usual 15 minutes set aside to allow members of the public to speak, much to the attending public's dismay.

One member of the public left the meeting saying: "Ladies and gentlemen it's a parish dictatorship".

In a statement to Your Chad, Coun Quinn-Wilcox said: "After some considerable time of being dissatisfied with the way that Selston Parish Council works I considered resigning by preparing a letter of resignation, containing the reasons with the proviso of it being my own opinion, and written ‘without prejudice’.

"After reading the Agenda for the meeting this evening - 25th March - I questioned why the public were effectively being silenced by not having an opportunity to speak within a 15 minute timeframe, which would normally allow them to ask any questions they wished, of the council.

"This has been their opportunity for many years, even directly before previous elections, which the Agendas for those years proves.

"I had spoken with several residents in the last couple of days, and was told that they were not being allowed to ask questions because of the (forthcoming) elections.

"Questions put by the public are not subject to ‘purdah’, even during that particular time.

"Purdah does not start until March 26.

"When the Parish Clerk answered my query regarding this I was appalled at the dictatorial tone she took, saying that she ‘decides what is on the Agenda’, I then decided to hand in my resignation at an appropriate point.

"If there had been an iota of consideration for the public, or for an interruption by the Chair, reassuring the public, that their voices would be heard, I may have considered staying and continuing my campaign for the good and deserving people of Selston Parish within the Parish Council.

"The Chair only told them they could join in when the points on the agenda were raised within the council. By omission he was not allowing them to ask any other questions.

"I will be continuing and even expanding my work within the community, but without the restrictions and confines of the Parish Council, some of whom, led by the present Chair, have given me no support, or allowed any of my plans for the community to be brought to fruition.

"I no longer wish to be associated with the vast majority of the Selston Parish Council.’

Councillor Sam Wilson, chair of the council has been contacted for comment.