A sorry councillor

PUBLISHED: 11:52 24 January 2007 | UPDATED: 10:30 24 May 2010

A RED faced councillor is facing having to make a public apology to his colleagues and a member of the public after losing his temper in a meeting

A RED faced councillor is facing having to make a public apology to his colleagues and a member of the public after losing his temper in a meeting.Councillor Michael Johnston walked over to resident Mike Wilks, who was sat in the public area, and shouted loudly at him to shut up during a debate about the precept at council meeting.Cllr Johnston became anxious after continuing comments by Mr Wilks at the meeting, despite it being in closed session when members of the public are not allowed to speak.The outburst by Councillor Johnston, who has been a town councillor for 12 years and also represents North Somerset Council for the Redcliffe Bay ward, left a deathly silence in the chamber.Councillor Alan McMurray has now written to town clerk Penny Rendle demanding that Councillor Johnston apologises to fellow councillors and Mr Wilks for his behaviour.Cllr McMurray said: "I have written to the town clerk complaining about Cllr Johnston's behaviour and asking for him to apologise publicly to Mr Wilks and the town council."It was not the sort of behaviour we would expect in a council meeting and restraint and respect should be shown during a debate."Admittedly Mr Wilks was making comments during the debate which is not allowed, but I do think the whole situation could have been handled far better."We do not want the people of Portishead to think this is how people behave as it may put them off coming to council meetings if they think they are going to be treated in a similar way."Councillor Johnston admitted he should not have behaved in such a way and said he had already written to the council apologising for his behaviour.But he also said he had no intention of saying sorry to Mr Wilks.Cllr Johnston said: "I have apologised to the chairman and my fellow councillors for any embarrassment caused."However, I do not see that an apology to Mr Wilks is appropriate."He should not have been making such comments and interrupting a meeting which was in closed session.

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