Statement on Adjournment of Town Council Meeting on 23 January

The last Frodsham Town Council (FTC) meeting on 23 January had to be adjourned for a short period of time when one of its Councillors refused to stop speaking when the Chair attempted to make a point of order.

Whether or not the adjournment complied with the Council’s Standing Orders has been the subject of speculation on social media, so the Town Clerk has issued the following statement. The Town Council hopes that this will bring some closure to the matter.

Background and explanation of adjournment

Cllr Reynolds was sanctioned by a previous FTC meeting, following Cheshire West and Chester Council’s Standards Complaints Panels finding that he had breached FTC’s Code of Conduct.

As part of FTC’s sanctions, Cllr Reynolds was required to publicly apologise to Cheshire West and Chester Cllrs A Dawson and L Riley for his behaviour.

Cllr Reynolds instead took the opportunity to repeat accusations that FTC had misspent funds. As this was not the subject of the sanctions, the Chair tried to raise a Point of Order (Standing Order 1, paragraphs p & q) but Cllr Reynolds refused to stop speaking, in breach of Standing Order 1 p. As it was not possible for the Chair to be heard, she had no choice but to adjourn the meeting until he stopped speaking.

The meeting subsequently resumed and concluded the remaining business on the agenda.

Relevant extracts for the Standing Orders

1 (p) During the debate of a motion, a councillor may interrupt only on a point of order or a personal explanation and the councillor who was interrupted shall stop speaking. A councillor raising a point of order shall identify the standing order which he considers has been breached or specify the other irregularity in the proceedings of the meeting he is concerned by.
1 (q) A point of order shall be decided by the chairman of the meeting and his decision shall be final.

The Council’s full Standing Orders can be read on the FTC website.