COUNCIL: Ashamed of behaviour

On behalf of the silent majority of Rothbury residents, I apologise wholeheartedly to those visitors from outside the parish, who were barracked, insulted and harassed by some Rothbury residents at the Rothbury Parish Council meeting, on September 9.

Two female visitors contacted the Rothbury parish clerk to speak at the meeting, their only purpose to ask questions.

This request was leaked and advertised in mocking fashion through social media.

Normal public attendance at council meetings numbers two-three. At this month’s meeting there were 30-40 people mainly arising from the Facebook post.

Before the visitors were out of their car they were harassed and told to ‘Get back to Berwick’. From the start, the visitors were treated with aggression and open hostility.

One visitor was there to ask questions on behalf of an independent auditor, unable to be present. The visitors were continually interrupted, harassed and insulted, and few of the questions were answered. My husband Mr Kell was harassed and physically corralled prior to the meeting.

It was disruptive, mob behaviour from adult Rothbury residents behaving like hooligans. They bring shame on a community where the large majority are fine, decent people who would never behave in this manner.

Some Rothbury residents were at the meeting for different reasons and were not part of this dreadful behaviour. It is a shame they were caught up in this mob.

Mr Kell has angered the parish council simply because he dared to challenge their standards of governance and financial control and has asked for transparency in spending plans. Leading questions were asked including what the community could do about this person.

Straw polls were conducted by the chairman of RPC, meaningless and inappropriate.

One gentleman spoke up and advised he did not agree with one of the straw polls. He was very brave to do so amongst all that hostility, and for this I thank him.

The appalling behaviour witnessed against visitors on Wednesday cannot be tolerated in civilised society anywhere, at any time, and those involved should hang their heads in shame.

Mrs J Kell,

Rothbury