AN ARGUMENT broke out at Middlewich Town Council last night (Tuesday) when some councillors voted to reject the minutes of a previous meeting claiming it wasn't legally held.

The town council postponed last Monday’s (June 20) full council meeting at a day’s notice.

But four councillors refused to accept the short notice of cancellation and met anyway in the car park, as Victoria Hall was locked, and went through any items on the agenda they could.

They say the car park meeting was quorate as a third of the council attended, it was minuted and so was legitimate.

The four Independent councillors who attended even elected a new deputy chair, Cllr Colin Coules, as that was one of the items on the agenda.

Winsford Guardian:

Cllr Colin Coules

But on Tuesday night (June 28) – the date the June 20 meeting had been postponed to – several Labour councillors refused to accept the minutes of the car park meeting.

A row then broke out over whether last week’s meeting was an official meeting and also whether the Labour councillors could vote against the minutes because they hadn’t attended.

Cllr Garnet Marshall, who had chaired the car park meeting, told councillors last night (Tuesday): “My understanding is that if you are opposing the minutes the only thing you can oppose on is their accuracy and if you weren’t at the meeting then how can you possibly oppose them on their accuracy?”

Cllr David Williams said as far as he was concerned the minutes had been rejected.

Cllr Vicky Perez said: “And also the meeting was cancelled so you can’t just have a meeting in a car park when it was officially cancelled.”

Winsford Guardian:

Cllr Vicky Perez

When someone called out that it wasn’t officially cancelled, Cllr Perez said: “Yes it was, by the chair and by the town clerk. It was your decision to hold it in a car park. It was illegal. It was illegal.”

It was then decided the acting clerk will have to take advice over whether or not the minutes can be accepted or rejected.

In another twist, Cllr Coules, who had been elected as the council’s new deputy chair at the disputed car park meeting, ended up chairing Tuesday night’s meeting when it was announced at the beginning that Cllr Mike Hunter had resigned as chair.

Cllr Hunter, who could not attend on Tuesday night for personal reasons, had provided a statement which was read out by the acting clerk.

In it he explained he was quitting as chair for health reasons. He will still remain as a councillor.