A disagreement between the vice-councillor of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford and a member of the public has emerged on film.
A video emerged last night (6th March) that appears to show the Vice-councillor of Bletchley and Fenny Stratford outside of a council meeting.
Richard Graham, the Vice-Councillor, leaves the building asking a member of the public to repeat what they had earlier said (off-camera).
The usual process for the public to speak in Town Council meetings is that each member of the public gets three minutes to get their point across in a total period of 15 allotted minutes.
Speaking this morning on the MK Breakfast Show, Graham says, “Rosemary Smith started speaking and it got to the allotted time, the chair then warned her that she had about 10 seconds left to speak and Rosemary started to get annoyed about that because she hadn’t finished her speech, she said that she wanted 15 minutes. The Chair said no, you’re not allowed to carry on because it’s part of our standing orders. In the end, the Chair decided to close the council as it was getting a bit heated.”
According to Graham, the council had experienced this before, “This is not the first time this has happened at a council meeting where Rosemary has made allegations against the clerk. There’s been various allegations, completely unfounded, there’s been investigation after investigation which is a waste of the tax payer’s money. We’ve done so much to appease Rosemary Smith and to me it felt like the council was set up last night.
“When we wrapped up the meeting, Rosemary came over to where the Chair was and where I was sitting and where the clerk was and started pointing her finger into the face of the officer of the clerk.
“It’s not acceptable for her to be abused and we’ve got a duty of care to protect our member of staff, her husband came over and did the same thing. At that point I got up and I got between the clerk and Rosemary and said no this is not going to happen again, I refuse for her to be abused like this again. Rosemary was pointing her finger in my face I told her I wasn’t going to stand for that I’m not going to be bullied by them and you’re not going to bully a member of staff.
“Her husband called me a black so-and-so and verbally abused me and that’s where my tempo went up a bit, I asked him to say it to my face and there was that flashpoint, what you see in that video is that two-minute flashpoint. I then went back inside.”
MKFM understands that the incident is being investigated by Thames Valley Police as a hate crime and Peter Graham is considered to be a victim following the altercation.
Rosemary Smith says, “There was a 15 minute speak slot, and as there was only one other person speaking, I would like to finish what I have got to say. They could have easily stood their standing orders down if they wanted to but they chose not to.”
Having been refused longer to speak, Rosemary Smith got up from the seating area and spoke to the clerk, “I went over to the clerk to say ‘are you recording this?’ and she said ‘yes on my phone’ and then Richard leapt from his seat and started verbally abusing me in the hall.”
This is when the video starts, “He lost the argument basically and that’s when he brought up the racism card, accusing everybody of being a racist. Nobody said a word.”
You can watch the video below.
Richard Graham’s interview on The MK Breakfast Show can be found here.