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Ousted chairman: I felt bullied by Tories
3:00pm Thursday 31st October 2013 in News
A WOMAN ousted from a committee chairman’s role on Brentwood council has exclusively told the Weekly News she felt “bullied” by her Tory counterparts.
After a controversial vote at the latest full council meeting, Lib Dem councillor Karen Chilvers was removed as chairman of the Overview and Scrutiny committee - and replaced with a Tory in an even more controversial move.
Rulling Tory councillors were unhappy with Ms Chilvers handling of meetings including one on September 18 where a vote of no confidence was taken against the administration.
Council deputy leader Roger Hirst put forward the unusual “sacking motion” - and it was passed 20 councillors (all Tory) to 15 (all opposition).
She was then replaced by Noelle Hones, a Tory councillor, a move allowed as Mr Hirst’s motion included a change to the constitution to allow a member of the current administration to chair the committee.
In a letter sent to the Weekly News, Ms Chilvers said the way she was treated at the meeting would not be accepted in any other realm of life - and is not what politics should be like.
The Brentwood West councillor said: “I felt bullied.
“Look at it like a football match: the goalkeeper punches away a penalty and the opposing team rounds on the goalie and push him to the ground one after the other.
“Well, ask yourself if you would find this behaviour acceptable and then consider that this is what happened to me.
“For doing my job of scrutinising the council, as much as our fictitious goalie was there to stop goals, I was subjected to almost two hours of being pulled to pieces by a pack of twenty baying Tories (paid for by your council tax).”