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Downham Market Mayor rules out council EGM




An attempt by rebel Downham town councillor Doug Lawson to force an Extraordinary General Meeting of the council has been denied by the mayor Jenny Groom.

The council issued a statement on Friday saying that the request was "wholly improper".

Mr Lawson had wanted the meeting to be held to discuss the motion "Downham Market Town Council members commit to acting lawfully and commit to enabling Downham Market Town Council to act lawfully".

Doug Lawson, standing, came under fire for his behaviour during an extraordinary Downham Town Council meeting last night (49201207)
Doug Lawson, standing, came under fire for his behaviour during an extraordinary Downham Town Council meeting last night (49201207)

However, the mayor's statement said: "On 25 June the Mayor received a requisition for an Extraordinary Meeting of the council, accompanied by the proposed agenda for that meeting.

"The Mayor refused that requisition request, because the substantive agenda items for the proposed meeting were wholly improper.

"Certain councillors have now purported to call a different Extraordinary Meeting, on a completely different agenda to that presented to the Mayor on 25 June.

"The new agenda has been drawn up in an improper manner, and in breach of this council’s Standing Order 10.

"Having taken advice this morning from Norfolk ALC (Association of Local Councils), the Mayor considers this meeting to have been unlawfully convened.

"No requisition for this new EGM has ever been received by the Mayor. The agenda for the new meeting bears no resemblance to the previous requisition. The new agenda has been drawn up in breach of Standing Orders.

"The Mayor notes a routine meeting of the Full Council was held as recently as 13 July 2021.

"A further meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 3 August."

The schism in the council originally began over policy concerning the town's market but has grown increasingly bitter.

At the last town council meeting, there were extraordinary scenes as Mr Lawson was told he should undergo diversity training over social media comments that appeared to suggest a fellow councillor's proposal could have been inspired by Nazi literature.

But Mr Lawson remained defiant, telling members he was acting lawfully and simply wanted the council to do the same.



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