Warrington-Worldwide.co.uk incorporates the Village Life, Culcheth Life, Frodsham Life & Lymm Life magazines.

“Rude” Mayor issues public apology

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WARRINGTON’S Mayor Cllr Les Morgan has issued a public apology following his “rude” behaviour in front of a four-year-old boy who was presenting a petition at the town hall last night.

I was there to capture the moment live on social media as an estimated 500 local residents staged a peaceful protest outside the town hall, against various developments across the town.

The petition, which was being presented by campaigner Jill Osborne’s four-year-old son Joey, had been signed by more than 4,200 people calling for the council’s Preferred Development Option Local Plan to build more than 20,000 new homes across the town, to be scrapped.

Instead of posing for a picture receiving the petition the Mayor shouted “no statements” pointing at me.

Thankfully little Joey was none the worse for what could have been a traumatic moment for a youngster and has now been invited back to the town hall with his mum for a more friendly meeting with the Mayor.

The incident caused outrage from local residents, with many posting comments on social media calling for the Mayor to stand down and resign.

In nearly four decades of covering Mayoral engagements, I have never quite encountered anything like this before.

I have seen a few drunken Mayors in high spirits and certainly had differences of opinion. But never ever been pointed and shouted at before while just going about my business.

We can all have bad days and make mistakes and thankfully the mayor has apologised and realised his mistake. Hopefully future engagements will be more welcoming as all I ever try and do is cover local news from an impartial point of view, covering the good, the bad and ugly of our great town.

Following the incident Cllr Morgan issued the following statement:“I am sorry for any offence I may have caused on Monday evening when accepting the petition about the Local Plan.

“I didn’t intend to cause offence, but I acknowledge that I could and should have handled the situation better. For that I apologise unreservedly.

“I understand the level of feeling that exists within local communities and I would like to assure people that the council will continue to listen carefully to public feedback before any final decisions are made.”

 

The Live broadcast which includes the mayor’s outburst.

 

RELATED ARTICLE: http://www.warrington-worldwide.co.uk/2017/10/16/hundreds-of-protesters-descend-on-warrington-town-hall/

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About Author

Experienced journalist for more than 35 years. Managing Director of magazine publishing group with six in-house titles and on-line daily newspaper for Warrington. Experienced writer, photographer, PR consultant and media expert having written for local, regional and national newspapers. Specialties: PR, media, social networking, photographer, networking, advertising, sales, media crisis management. Patron Tim Parry Johnathan Ball Foundation for Peace. Trustee Warrington Disability Partnership. Former Chairman of Warrington Town FC.

7 Comments

    • Shouldn’t you reword your question to read “Why on earth would a Labour Councillor be under stress when someone puts a four year old boy in front of him?” That more properly reflects what actually happened.

        • If the four year old, as you say was not “the cause of any stress” why infer it was irresponsible for him to be there? The video clip shows the little lad to be quite at ease throughout the proceedings, and not to put too fine a point on it was excited at briefly being the centre of attention. I doubt he picked up on the Mayor’s unease or reaction. He certainly didn’t look as though he would loose any sleep over it. The unease that existed was occasioned by the Mayor when confronted by Gary complete with video recorder legally going about his journalistic business. To that extent the Mayor brought the opprobrium upon himself, for which he almost immediately apologised.

  1. Under Stress? Oh come on he’s a grown man, a councilor and the Mayor…surely he’s been under ‘stress’ before in his life and work role just as we all have. I would never have behaved like that in front of a 4 year old would you?

    Maybe the 4 year old could swap places with him as the little lad showed way more resilience, politeness and decorum than the ‘grown up’ Mayor did.

    It’s good of Mr Mayor to appoligise and invite the little lad back for another visit but lets face it the video was being shared all over the place last night on social media and other places so it may be a little to late for him to gain the respect back that he seemed to have before this outburst. Even the Warrington Guardian have posted a story and mentioned Warrington Worldwide footage and news page story…..in all the years I have been on here I’ve never ever known them mention their rival online news page. Seems the council and their action are managing to bring more people together in the fight against the proposals than just residents 😉

  2. This is something very important for all of Warrington, “Warrington Wide” to realise….. The present PDO is BAD NEWS for all of us!
    People in the South have twigged on because we’ve been alerted to the massive development upheavals being inequitably concentrated here…. but this also means that we have suffered the gruelling rite of reading the damn thing…. and we know the worst…
    PLEASE, if you are fortunate to be in a part of Warrington spared from development read it and try to find out what it really could mean for the whole of Warrington. Dont blindly buy the ” playin with the Big Biz Boys City Club Megalomania in Awe of the glitzy employment/ houses for all promises. Peel and other developers are gagging to consume our Town for a fat profit not caring how they abuse/ desecrate it forever. They are very powerful and our Councillors are hopelessly in their thrall. The clause 106 Infrastructural commitments they give are easliy neglected…. as shown by the recently ressurected HCA projects in Appleton…. it transpires that those lands were unable to get developed since way back at “New Towns” Era because the developers renaiged on essential roads and a bridge…. and yet here they go again passing it without the original infrastructure in place nor any future such guaranteed, with the huge burden of the PDO loomin round the corner….Rest assured Peel want to turn us into a multimodal freight container port meat in the jammy samdwich glue between Liverpool and Manchester and the new houses are just purse fodder… convenientlybgiving WBC most tax revenue and thus landing in choice greenbelt areas in the south…. they will not be the problem solving affordable social housing unless we up and insist as one that WBC change its priorities for a more humble, prudent game plan involving maximal brownfield useage and intelligent salvage of the town centre.
    This incident demonstrates the destitute position of our Councillors…. Les Morgan may be a Grumpy Old F* ( for which he gas appologised) and still be a capable representative…. I dunno, you folks in Latchford sure could do with some assistance being heard on this issue and all if us will be watching carefully to see how he can practically demonstrate his ” understanding of our concern” but his level of aggitation over the issue speaks volumes, as does Councillor O’Neill’s need to get in the Guardian weretting about unfair facebook criticism and safely issues with this denonstration, when the group obviously targetted has an impeccable track record and is so well disciplined that it shut down its posting facility on Monday to avoid such problems and immediately the Mayoral story broke, issued a call for reports of anything ‘ inappropriate’ so they could be removed.
    Again, at the HCA meeting last Tue , it was obvious that some of the ‘ labour’ Councillors that pushed the development through were extremely unconfortable with the task( they had their minds focussed by an intimidating assertion from WBC legal rep just prior to voting that ” refusing would be a huge expense to WBC”)I feel for them, this is hardly the behaviour of a ” socialist” Council… What would Jezza do??
    This all shows that they are running scared…. like the Magician’s Apprentice…. they need us to up and rescue them… they need people from all over Warrie to up off thrir Nimby Arse abd give a damn…

    • Your analysis of the HCA applications is flawed. The bridge was not built following objections from a statutory consultee, none other than WBC. The scheme was promoted by the Cheshire County Council and the Warrington Development Corporation. If this plan had gone ahead the proposal in the PDO to use the railway route from Arpley over the bridge near Latchford Locks would not have been required.

      I worry that complaints about the behaviour of a socialist council are misplaced. If the HCA had gone ahead without WBC planning permission, (which they are empowered to do by the deemed planning consents, which do not expire under the New Towns Act, since they are legally the successor of the Warrington Development Corporation) the council would forego the Section 106 funding. So you are complaining about the council acting in the public interest!

      I truly don’t care what Jezza would do and seriously worry that you raise that issue at all.

      Much of the campaign on facebook is also worrying in that it places the blame on external parties without any proof whatever.

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