Training for council after row with mayor

breaking news
breaking news

Belper town councillors are set to receive special training following months of “confrontation” and upheaval on the authority.

Members of the council agreed to approach the Derbyshire Association of Local Councils (DALC) for help following a meeting on March 11 which almost didn’t go ahead because of a lack of councillors.

In January town mayor Deborah Biss claimed she was “ostricised” from the authority after questioning minutes written by the clerk.

At last Tuesday’s meeting problems continued when councillors Alan Cox and Alan Broughton separately threatened to leave the meeting during a discussion over the town’s leisure centre, which would have meant the authority would have become “inquorate” or unable to make any official decisions due to a lack of councillors.

Councillor Broughton said: “This council, for so long now has only taken one line - the confrontational line. It should be conciliatory. I can’t sit in a meeting like this.”

DALC offer ‘good councillor’ and ‘whole council’ training to help members in the performance of their duties.

The association represents more than 190 parish and town council and parish meetings in the county. It also provides member councils free advice on legal, financial and procedural matters.

Councillor Broughton added: “I would welcome us having training from DALC - everyone needs it. Everyone requires it. The quicker the better.”

Councillor Dan Booth, who was elected to the authority at the end of last year, said: “Is there scope for this to be a mandatory thing for people who join the council?”

Deputy Mayor Joe Booth said: “I don’t think it would hurt for DALC to come here and do some councillor training. Becoming a councillor isn’t just about turning up for meetings and putting your hand up.”

Following the meeting the town clerk is now set to arrange training for councillors and look into special training for members on acting as a chairman for a meeting.