News: Councillor steps down and apologises over his behaviour after petition row

News: Councillor steps down and apologises over his behaviour after petition row

Another Lincolnshire Highlights news story…

A senior councillor has stepped down and apologised after a complaint was made about his behaviour at a community centre.

David Payne has stood down from the positions that he holds at Newark and Sherwood District Council after an incident which took place on February 14 this year.

According to members of staff at Bridge Community Centre in the town, Councillor Payne ‘stormed’ into the building to try and remove a petition to save a park.

One witness who wished to be anonymous said: “He came into the centre, and staff could smell alcohol on him.

“He tried to remove a petition to save Cedar Avenue Park, he was stopped by staff but he was abusive to members of staff.

 

“He was ejected from the building without the petition.”

Councillor Payne was previously the former leader of the council and at the time of standing down was Chairman of the Planning Committee, Chairman of the Gilstrap Charity and Director and Vice-Chairman of Newark and Sherwood homes.

David Payne has stepped down from his roles at Newark and Sherwood District Council
(Image: Newark and Sherwood District Council)

It is reported allegedly that ‘trustees from the Gilstrap Charity wanted to sell Cedar Park’.

Newark and Sherwood District Council have issued a statement on the situation.

Councillor David Lloyd, Leader of Newark and Sherwood District Council said: “Following the incident at the Bridge Community Centre on February 14, I can confirm that Councillor David Payne has stepped down from the senior positions he holds at Newark and Sherwood District Council.

“Namely, as Chairman of the Planning Committee, Chairman of the Gilstrap Charity and Director and Vice-Chairman of Newark and Sherwood Homes.

 

“He has further confirmed that he will not be standing in the forthcoming local elections 

“He has visited the Bridge Community Centre to apologise to those who made the complaint and his apology, and the associated actions above, have been accepted.

“The complaint is now closed.

Councillor Payne has been a long-standing and dedicated public servant for 44 years but he behaved in a way that fell below his own standards and those standards expected of local councillors.

“The council has responded quickly, sensitively and decisively and I hope that the personal, and in some instances, harsh and unreasonable comments about Councillor Payne will end.”



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