Posted: Fri 9th Dec 2022

Town Council withdraws support for armed services committee following alleged Remembrance Sunday incident

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Friday, Dec 9th, 2022

A Deeside town council has withdrawn its support for an armed services committee following an allegation that one of its members swore at a uniformed soldier on Remembrance Sunday.

During a meeting of Connah’s Quay Town Council on Wednesday evening, Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) called for the withdrawal of “all association with Connah’s Quay and Shotton Intersevices Committee until such time as officials appear before this town council.”

Cllr Attridge who represents Central Ward and is leader of the council said: “The reason for such drastic measures is to protect the reputation of this council.”

The Interservice Committee arranges Remembrance Day and Remembrance Sunday activities in the area, it looks after poppy boxes and collections across Deeside.

Typically members from all the armed force groups and representatives of both Connah’s Quay and Shotton Town Council make up the committee.

Cllr Attridge said a Connah’s Quay Town Council member “was refused to substitute for Cllr Ross Mansell at a meeting that was called by the Intersevices Committee, the request was because Cllr Mansell was ill and couldn’t attend.”

“I asked for a substitute to go and Cllr Allen Owen agreed but we were told he couldn’t go, and they would not accept a substitution.”

Cllr Attridge said: “The reason we wanted to go to the meeting was to raise some serious concerns.”

He said: “It has been alleged that in Connah’s Quay Civic Hall, on Remembrance Sunday, a senior official of the Connah’s Quay and Shotton Intersevices Committee told a soldier in uniform to f*** off and put his two fingers up behind the soldiers back because he had asked the official to be quiet during prayers.”

Cllr Attridge, who also sits on Flintshire council, said: “I’m also advised that a member of the Royal Welsh Comrades Association also asked the same person to be quiet.”

“If this allegation is true, then as a council, we need to understand what action is being taken and how can we be assured that such a thing never happens again in a building that this town council owns.” He said.

Golftyn Ward Councillor Andy Dunbobbin (Lab) said he was, “very disappointed to hear about the alleged behaviour.”

Cllr Dunbobbin, a former armed services champion for Flintshire council, said withdrawing all association with the committee was a “very drastic measure” and asked if “some sort of mediation could take place prior to any disassociation with the Intersevices Committee.”

Cllr Attridge said it was “quite clear” in the motion that he put forward at Wednesday’s meeting, “if they appear before this town council, it could be all sorted straight away with no issue.”

He said: “As custodians of the public purse, we finance the Connah’s Quay and Shotton Intersevices Committee every single year and we give free usage of the Civic Hall to the committee.”

He said disassociation from the committee “could be for a week, it could be two or three weeks, its whenever they respond to a letter we will be sending.”

“This is serious, I can show anyone who wants any proof of the allegation, I’m not making this up.” He added.

Cllr Attridge said he was having “message after message saying how disgusted people are with the incident, but no one seems to be doing anything about it, everyone seems to be blaming each other.”

He said: “We have always had a good relationship with the committee during my 23 years on this town campus, there has never been an issue.”

“We’ve got a serious issue that we as a town council need answers to.”

Wepre Ward Councillor Martin White (Lab) said: “I think Cllr Attridge and Cllr Dunbobbin are hitting the same nail but with different hammers.”

“It is about mediation but mediation to me is about somebody [from the committee] coming in, if it’s the acting chair or the president, there are five or six representatives on that committee and one or two should be able to come in and answer questions, these are serious allegations.”

He said, “the allegation that has been addressed to the council is the same story I have heard, if that committee member or another committee member would like to come to the council and answer questions, then that should be done.”

Cllr White said: “At the end of the day, it’s not about us as a council, it’s not about Shotton Town Council, not the Interservices Committee or the Royal Welsh, it’s about the people on that war memorial and we need to give them the utmost respect.”

In a vote on the motion, all but one councillor voted in favour of withdrawing support for the Connah’s Quay and Shotton Intersevices Committee.

Deeside.com has attempted to contact Connah’s Quay and Shotton Intersevices Committee for comment.

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