‘Stop having a pop at me’: Councillor hits out after being accused of ‘hiding behind a sofa’
PUBLISHED: 14:07 01 July 2020
A councillor who is shielding his 93-year-old father has hit back at criticism from a colleague, who claims he has been “hiding behind the sofa” rather than supporting a town recover from the effects of Covid-19.
Tensions rose at a meeting of Thetford Town Council on Tuesday, between councillors Roy Brame and Mark Taylor.
Mr Taylor told of his “disappointment” as he believed more could have been done to celebrate the ‘reopening’ of the town centre, on June 15, and once again pushed for council meetings to be held in person.
Mr Taylor, who has previously sat on Breckland Council as a UKIP member, criticised his Conservative colleagues - including Mr Brame and Mark Robinson, mayor - after they visited businesses, but not under the banner of the town council.
MORE: Councillor calls for face-to-face meetings as lockdown eases to ‘send message to community’
“I was very disappointed with the Breckland Conservative councillors, including the mayor and councillor Brame - who I thought was hiding behind a sofa - for parading through Thetford town centre when the shops were opened to what I thought could have been a town council-led civic event,” he said.
But Mr Robinson assured Mr Taylor the council is doing everything it can to support the town in its recovery, as part of the Confidence Campaign led by Broadland, South Norfolk and Breckland Councils.
Mr Taylor then asked when the town council will be holding face-to-face meetings.
He said: “Let’s get back and start meeting the public and get out from behind the screen.”
MORE: Town welcomes back first shoppers as businesses reopen after lockdown
Addressing Mr Robinson, as chairman of the meeting, Mr Brame said he will not risk his father’s life “to please” Mr Taylor.
He said: “I would like to say I am getting a little tired at councillor Taylor’s ribs at me at every full council.
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“My father is 93 and I am shielding him to the best of my ability. If he feels I should go and do something else that is his opinion.
“But I am asking you as chair to please ask him to stop having a pop at me at every opportunity and to keep saying I’m behind the couch.
“I have been at work today in full protective gear because I am terrified my 93-year-old father will catch Covid from me.
“I don’t feel I have to sit here and listen to Mr Taylor call me names. I am not going to put my father’s life at risk just to please him.”
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