Police called and councillors quit at farcical meeting

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A PARISH council meeting descended into chaos when the police were called to eject a man who said he was “a nutter” and six councillors quit.

The problems at Holbeach Parish Council’s annual parish meeting on Monday began when Paul Poll asked to speak during the open forum.

Chairman Coun Rita Rudkin asked if Mr Poll lives in the parish and when he said yes, asked for his address.

Mr Poll refused to give it and so Coun Rudkin said he couldn’t speak.

After some debate it was decided to allow him to raise his point which referred to the parish council’s allotments.

Not happy with the response Mr Poll then began shouting, accusing the councillors of a cover up.

Coun Rudkin asked Mr Poll to leave but he refused, so it was suggested that the police were called.

Amidst the confusion of who was going to ring the police, Mr Poll yelled out “come on then, phone the police, one of you must have a mobile.”

A farcical phone call ensued, during which the operator asked Coun Michael Barter if Mr Poll was violent. Coun Barter then asked Mr Poll: “are you violent?” to which he replied: “yeah, I’m a nutter” and Coun Barter told the operator: “he says he’s a nutter.”

Around 20 minutes later PSCO Jane Gardner arrived and asked Mr Poll to leave the meeting which he did without a fuss.

Meanwhile six councillors resigned their posts when a vote regarding the new clerk didn’t go their way.

Coun Terry Harrington proposed that a matter regarding the appointment of a new clerk was discussed in closed session after the meeting as the successful person had not yet been informed.

However Coun Esmond Tearle disagreed saying it was public money and should be discussed in the open.

Seven councillors voted against Coun Tearle who, along with the five who sided with him – Michael Barter, Carol Johnson, Carol Rudkin, Val Gemmell and Yvonne Jones – immediately resigned from the council and left the meeting en masse.