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Western Daily Press | Posted 5th August 2011


Somerset parish councillor gets banned for bad behaviour

A parish councillor has been banned from an historic community building except for parish, because of her alleged abusive behaviour.

Several members of the public turned up to a meeting of Martock Parish Council, near Yeovil, Somerset this week to complain about the behaviour of Councillor Jenny Hulme-At this.

They said Mrs Hulme-Atthis had been harassing people in the shopping precinct to sign a petition against Tesco coming to the village. She was also accused of upsetting volunteers at the Market House’s information centre when taking leaflets.

The parish council holds its meetings in the building.

Councillor Christopher Bell said: “She has been abusive to our volunteers, swearing at members of the public and trying to bring the parish council into disrepute.”

Parish clerk Ian Andrews said he had received three complaints about Mrs Hulme-Atthis.

Mrs Hulme-Atthis arrived late as councillors were discussing the council’s code of conduct, was informed of the complaints against her and given the opportunity to respond.

She said: “I don’t like gossip, innuendo and threats. You expect me to defend myself against people who are not saying things to my face” and said she had been the victim of abusive behaviour from the parish council.

Chairman Roger Powell told her: “Your behaviour has shown a disregard for this code of conduct.

“If you persistently bring the council into disrepute you can be asked to leave the meeting.”

She was excluded from the meeting and left after telling the chairman: “Please be aware of your legal standing because I have done nothing illegal.”

The council then banned her from the Market House except for attending parish council meetings, to protect the information centre volunteers.