Formal complaint about 'insult' to council leader at public meeting

PUBLISHED: 12:00 28 July 2012

Derek Mead

Derek Mead

Archant

A COMPLAINT has been lodged against a developer who aims to restore Weston's Tropicana after he made an 'insulting' comment towards council leaders.

Derek Mead, owner of Puxton Park, attended a North Somerset Council meeting last week to again outline his determination to bring the former pool back to life.

But while attempting to convince councillors of the need to save the site from demolition, he directed a comment towards council leader Nigel Ashton and deputy leader Elfan Ap Rees which their Conservative colleague Dawn Payne says she felt was ‘derogatory’.

The Mercury is unable to reproduce the comment, but understands a formal complaint has now been lodged by Cllr Payne.

She said: “I find that sort of comment insulting and it’s not acceptable to be made at a public meeting, it’s a derogatory comment.

“I know it’s a difficult situation and I’m open to any discussion for it but that comment is unacceptable.

“An apology wasn’t something I thought about, I just want to make sure that doesn’t happen in the future.”

Mr Mead had attended the meeting with his campaign group Trop (WSM) Ltd which has drawn up proposals to redevelop and eventually roof over the landmark, turning it into an all-year-round attraction.

The group has launched a judicial review against the council’s application to bulldoze the landmark and vowed a second round of legal action to stall a repeat bid designed to force through the demolition.

However, the council has so far refused to budge in its determination to pull down the Tropicana, following a decision taken by executive members last year.

Mr Mead says he will continue to fight to restore Weston’s pool, and was quick to dismiss Cllr Payne’s complaint.

Mr Mead said: “I think that the comment is irrelevant and people should focus on getting the Tropicana back up and running.

“Cllr Payne wants to see the Trop knocked down and that is what she wants to focus on.”

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