Council walk out at mayor’s arrival

Councillors walked out of the latest Belper Town Council meeting in protest over alleged behaviour by the mayor.

The meeting (Tuesday November 25 )was a continuation of the town council’s November 12 meeting which had been halted after Mayor Cllr Deborah Biss had questioned minutes written by town clerk Rosalind Bullimore.

Cllr Alan Cox had written to Cllr Biss, warning that councillors were ‘not prepared to sit in a meeting with you acting as chairman’ because they felt she had caused embarrassment on November 12, advising her to apologise. But an unrepentant Cllr Biss attended the St John’s Chapel meeting place and 11 councillors walked out of the room until she left the building.

The meeting then resumed, chaired by deputy mayor Joe Booth.

Outside the meeting Cllr Biss said: “I made it clear that it wasn’t myself that disrupted the meeting.

“It was the other councillors who made the meeting inquorate. I haven’t breached any procedures and don’t intend to resign. People working for the benefit of Belper should behave better.”

Before the meeting resumed, Cllr Jim Anderson said: “Cllr Biss has been advised by the Derbyshire Association of Local Councils to try and rectify the problems we have got. We asked her before the meeting if she was going to take note of the advice and she said no.

“Personally I feel she’s brought the role of mayor into disrepute. “

He added: “I was the mayor ten years ago and it was the proudest thing I have ever done.”