News Fracas ‘wasted police time’

LANGLEY Parish Council has been accused ofwasting time and publicmoney after reporting an allegation froma recentmeeting to Kent Police.

An incident at September’s full

council meeting is alleged to have happened asmembers of the public attemptedto have their say on apro- posed relief road from the Langley area to theA20. According to police, aman “is al-

leged to have been pushed and threatened by a resident”. SomeLangley residents say the re-

lief road issue has brought simmer- ing tensions over the by-pass to the boil.


parish council chairman, Cllr Cheryl Taylor- Maggio, pic- tured right, has publicly voiced strong reservations about a relief roadandits ef- fect on Langley. Tensions mounted when Leeds

Road resident Clive Baker (68),who attended with his neighbour John Garner, asked Cllr TaylorMaggio if she was in favour of a relief road. She declined to answer, he said. The former airline securityworker added: “Throughout the time I was

trying to speak, I was continuously interrupted by another parish coun- cillor. I asked a number of questions including one about the removal of a bus service andwasmet a very un- helpful response. “In the end, I got up and left. It

was a pretty chaoticmeeting, if you ask me. They weren’t interested in listening to the points Iwas trying to make.” MrGarner (74), a former construc-

tion industry executive, saidthat an- other member of the public who attemptedto ask a questionwas told to “shut up”. Later, a further member of the

public had a disagreement with an- other attendee of the parish council meeting,which led to the referral to police. An eye-witness said: “I didn’t see

any pushing or a reason to involve police. It’s a waste of time and pub- licmoney, if you askme.” Another eye-witness said: “It was

an appalling, disastrous meeting. I’ve never been to ameeting so badly run. This chapwas forced out of the meeting. Theymade himleave and, if he didn’t, said they’d call the po- lice. Idon’t think itwas a policemat-

the police under the PublicDisorder Act 1986)…the chairman, vice chair- man and I will now be working to- gether to take steps in tightening up all our procedures pertaining to the running of ourmeetings and, inpar- ticular, to the public element. This is in order to demonstrate that what happened last week will not be tol- erated...” A Kent Police spokesman said:

“KentPolicehas beenmade aware of anincidentwhichis reportedtohave happened at a village hall inHorse- shoes Lane, Langley,Maidstone. “…a man is alleged to have been

pushed and threatened by a resi- dent, during a meeting held by the local parish council. “Police have spoken to the in-

Relief road supporters Clive Baker (right) and John Garner

ter at all.” Cllr Taylor-Maggio said: “I have

no comment tomake. I amvery busy and I have nothing to say.” But a letter to councillors from

parish clerk Helen Anderson said: “Following the disturbance at this meeting (which we had to report to

formant about the circumstances of the incident and it has been agreed that no further action has been taken.” A petition containing 400 signa-

tures of Langley parish residents in favour of a relief road was handed into the parish council on the night. We understand that a complaint

has been ormay soon bemade to the monitoring boardwhichinvestigates the conduct of parish councillors.

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