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.”
Shocked by mayors behaviour at end of video. Will this be reported?? Many feel was not appropriate
— Laura Jayne (@pettit_jayne) October 16, 2017
— Hayley Smith (@hayleytuttsmith) October 16, 2017
The Live broadcast which includes the mayor’s outburst.