Sandy Maynard said councillors in Beyton, near Bury St Edmunds in Suffolk, failed to provide a decent vantage point and that when she moved from the designated spot, the chairman’s wife, Mary Wyartt, 71, repeatedly tried to obscure her view.
In a final attempt to exercise her right to record proceedings, she told councillors they would have to call police to stop her – and they duly took up her challenge.
Two officers arrived, but took no further action when a member of the public assured them things were under control.What was she trying to film, that the council were going to such lengths to prevent?
Why, the decision to treat animals as disposable decoration.
Mrs Maynard and her partner Andrew Nimmons, 70, a retired farm worker, are concerned about the council’s ‘inhumane’ policy of reintroducing geese to the village green.
There used to be ten birds at the spot but all died, the mother of one says, because of problems such as dog attacks, being run over by cars or having inadequate shelter.
The council brought in another 15 birds last summer after a poll in which 78 per cent of locals supported the idea – but three have already died.It’s all very well the locals demanding that they have geese, but perhaps if they drove more considerately and leashed their dogs, they’d deserve to be listened to…
Councillors were forced to accept the filming of meetings last year after a change of law, which led to three members quitting.Heh! They don’t like their cozy little world rocked, do they?
Last night Mr Wyartt blamed a ‘small minority’ who oppose the reintroduction of geese for disrupting the January 5 meeting.
He said: ‘We have been given guidelines from the Suffolk Association of Local Councils. It says the parish council chairman can set a designated filming area. She was not filming from the area we provided.
‘I am quite a big fellow. I could have manhandled her out, but that would have been a bigger headline than the one we are looking at now.’I think if you had, you’d find that the police wouldn’t have just gone away…
He added: ‘The filming itself is not the problem – it’s the harassment and abuse caused by cutting it and editing it and putting it on YouTube, which just makes the work of a parish councillor that much harder.’Tough. You can’t handle a retired schoolteacher, what are you going to do when PETA goons show up on your doorstep?