Councillor outburst mar’s first Council Committee meeting

At last nights Corporate Property committee meeting the proceedings were marred by a personal attack on Cllr Adam Edsall, who achieved the highest popular vote in the recent Town Council elections.  Linda Goss who attended the meeting published the following report of the meeting on her Facebook page and has given permission to post it here.:

There are also first hand accounts of a similar personal attack on me at the previous evening’s Planning Committee meeting which I could not attend, and therefore could not defend myself.

This behaviour is totally unacceptable and must be stopped through proper process.

Linda Goss to Dartmouth Business News

Adam Edsall

I was shocked to see the lengthy, vehement attack on Cll Edsall last night from the previous town Mayor, Cll Rob Lyons.
The onslaught was filled with venom - expletive filled accusations and recriminations.

Completely uncalled for.

Cll Lyons let himself down very badly.
Having witnessed his presence on Dahaag, I learnt that he was, indeed, a good man.
But he obviously feels betrayed and bitter - his hopes and plans seemingly thwarted.
Whatever the reason for his behaviour, it was unacceptable and most definitely in contravention of Council rules.

It was witnessed by too many people to be swept under the carpet.

Councillor Edsall acquitted himself well, maintaining his dignity, listening (appalled) and not rising to the bait.

In my eyes, another sign that we have the right man for the job.

One of the reelected town councillors stated clearly at the start of the meeting, her fears about the the dominance of the DIG members on the Council
Her feeling was that this would prove to be undemocratic and heavily weighted in the favour of those members and their proposals for the town. Perhaps she feared a repeat of the last Councils clear habit of prearranging council decisions, positions and people?!

What all Councillors need to remember - including the DIG members who appear to be vacillating - is that the heavy proportions of DIG councillors and new Independents were voted in because the town wanted change!

Over so many issues, the old Council was viewed as ineffective and wasteful.

Dartmouth wants a more open and truly effective town council.
They want a council that will hear them and support their aspirations fairly and without bias - and without a whole load of silly nonsense!

Proper support for the return of their healthcare.
A Neighbourhood Plan.
Overdevelopment - per se.
Parking properly resolved!
Many, many issues HAVE to be properly addressed and considered and made to happen!

Dartmouth needs rejuvenation - with old and fresh new ideas, being pooled and actioned.

I know the new Council need time to get to grips with all the requirements of their job - and they need to be given time to do this.
They need to know fully about due process and all those kind of things - certainly if they want to modernise, improve procedures and introduce a much needed breath of fresh air.
With such an intelligent group, I believe they will uphold and respect tradition while making needed changes.

For me too, this Council has to remove all whiff of corruption.
For a town to doubt some of it’s old Councillors and question their motives and even suspect personal gain, is an anathema to me.

This must change.

I also thought last night that it will be vital for the current Town Clerk to fully reappraise her job.
It was clear that she does not have a complete grip on procedure and I gathered from the mumbling around me, that many are highly critical of her lack of knowledge and were watching closely.
Again, she is a really nice person but she is NOT a puppet and she really does have to know what her job entails!

I hope the undermining shenanigans around these Council meetings will cease and that people will embrace change.
For the good of the town, this Dartmouth Town Council must receive our support and trust, if they are to be able to fulfil their election promises.

  • Daphne May Stockton Well said Linda Dartmouth people voted and that what counts to not gain your seat to me means you did not fulfil what the people wanted and things had to change those people if they feel they can contribute for the people of Dartmouth (and noSee more
  • Lynn Gunnigle Same old, same old they dont seem to realize it was the former council’s behaviour and lack of empathy for the Town and its people that started the wind of change in the first place .
    One thing is for sure our refreshing new councillors make the old ones and their behaviour stand out for what it was… and what it still is UNEXCEPTABLE .
  • Phillip Morralley Hear hear , again you talk openly an honestly Linda
  • Cynde Worthington Well said Linda ????
  • Wendy Price Yes, well said Linda
  • Martin Mcgowan-Scanlon Was there a council meeting last night? I need to get up to speed with where notifications of this are made as I would like to attend as often as possible
    • Linda Goss Martin Mcgowan-Scanlon Martin there was the 1st Corporate meeting last night and the 1st planning meeting the night before.
      I believe a similar “fracas” happened there, as well.
      I have attended both meetings, out of interest and am watching the manoeuSee more
    • Dave Cawley Linda Goss “I believe a similar “fracas” happened there” not true Linda ! Please don’t fuel the fire.
    • Paul William Reach Dave Cawley the reports I have seen show that Rob Lyons launched a similar personal attack at the Planning meeting together with implied criticism of the DIG group. This has to stop or the Town Council’s reputation will be dragged down by the actions of the re-elected councillors.
    • Dave Cawley Paul William Reach I was there Paul. What has to stop is false allegations.
    • Linda Goss Dave Cawley 
      You had left yesterday when the final “exchange” took place.
      The previous days post meeting degeneration was also well witnessed
    • Paul William Reach I have independent reports from other witnesses Dave so I am sure it happened.

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  1. Dave Cawley you missed the attack. It happened. Rob Lyons did suggest that Paul Reach, who was one of many who opposed a certain planning application, had used his attendance at DIG meetings to gain influence to support his objection. I have been beside Paul at all of these meetings and I assure everyone he behaved only as a supportive resident and sought no personal gain. Cllr Lions also intimated that Paul acted as a Dog in the manger, who having extended his own home was objecting to a neighbour doing the same. This vindictive personalisation of a purely technical planning matter and unfounded slighting of an absent resident is intolerable behaviour that may have been tolerated by the past council but it must be nipped in the bud. Before this escalates, I call on the Mayor to make suitable intervention.

  2. Robert, I did not miss anything at all ! It was said above “I believe a similar “fracas” happened there”

    It was not “similar” and it was not a “fracas” and it was also not “vindictive”.

    The fact that Paul was absent is irrelevant as he had submitted a written comment and hence he was discussed.

    However, something tells me as this page is operated by Paul, that I’m whistling in the wind !

    • you will be pleased to know David that I publish every comment that is submitted unless it contains swearing or abusive comment. Fortunately that has never happened so your comment is visible in all of its glory. As for the committee discussing my letter in a technical sense is fine, discussing my motives in submitting the letter is not.

  3. well well its started already. New Dartmouth councillors have much to learn and the comments of Linda Goss are way off the mark. If they all read the 1972 Local Government Act they will soon see what town councils can and cannot do. And Ms Goss will find out that Dartmouth Town Council has no control over car parking, policing, health care provision and many other aspects of life in Dartmouth. Sorry fellas, you got yourselves elected to the wrong council

    Brian Boughton

    • Brian, as I have told you many times you dont have to have control to have influence. I should know I spent 18 months defining a solution to the parking problem in Dartmouth in consultation with many of the surrounding parish councils. Our recommendations were supported by over 50% of Dartmouth residents surveyed (over 650) and by our district councillors who were part of the consultation team. So I am confident that if Dartmouth wants to influence decisions in all of the areas you refer to then they will have the power of argument behind them. Sadly the mayor of the day blocked the plan because it contained something he was opposed to personally. Never mind we learnt a lot during the project. You watch this new Council Brian I suspect they will have more impact on the town than you give them credit for.

  4. you’ve settled on car parking but you might just as well chosen policing or health care provision. I was one of 6 chairmen of the town council traffic and parking and we all came up with solutions and none of them were implemented. Parking is Dartmouth’s political poisoned chalice and for every supporter of a new plan there are two opponents. The District and County councils recognised this decades ago and they are not going to bear the unpopularity and the costs of any parking plan foisted on them by a town or parish council. Despite all your huffing and puffing you made no contribution to solving thre parking problem and nor did I or others . And it doesnt take the wisdom of Solomon to see that Ms Goss and the new town councillors are going to make no difference either. There is a big difference between constructing a shopping list of voters’wishes and turning them into policy and when DIG councillors wise up to this, the resignations will start

  5. In the interests of accuracy, the photo you show of the Town Council is some years out of date and does not show the current incumbents. I missed the corporate property meeting, but was at the planning meeting and the first full council meeting. In my humble opinion meetings would be improved if the people in the public gallery spoke less and listened more.

    I am not going to fully comment on Ms Goss’s letter - she is entitled to her opinion, as I am to mine - but I strongly object to the use of the word “corruption”. If you have evidence, Linda, let’s hear it. Anonymous smears help no one.
    By the way,I was contacted by someone else in the public gallery who was appalled by certain people loudly criticising the previous council in the street after the meeting.

  6. My apologies david it is meant to be representative of the chamber but I will take a new photo at the next Full Council meeting to keep you pedants happy. As for the planning committee can I ask if you approve of councillors making personal attacks on members of the public when they are not there to defend their position? I have had feedback from members of the public who were appalled at the behaviour of some Councillors at that meeting, and this is the one of the reasons the town voted for change. It is not surprising that members of the public who attend these meetings but are prohibited from talking occasionally let their frustration show by commenting. In any case the planning committee is run by the Chair and the public are often given the opportunity to contribute if they have a relevant comment to make. Can I assume you are defending the actions of the Councillor concerned? Do you realise the contradiction in your comment “If you have evidence, Linda, let’s hear it. Anonymous smears help no one.” its a bit like “don’t tell him your name Pike”

  7. Paul, I am sorry you regard it as pedantic to expect accuracy. I would have thought you would want to distance the current council from the previous one with its “whiff of corruption”. And no, I see no contradiction in asking people to justify their unpleasant attacks.

    Thanks for your comment that the chairman runs Planning; I had that role for 8 years and know a little bit about it. The current chairman did the best job anyone could have been expected, bearing in mind his - admitted - lack of knowledge. This is not an attack: it is an accurate summary. In fact he and I will be meeting next week. A more experienced chairman would have stopped Rob making his comments. I certainly would have. But the committee were not advised of the letters of support from some neighbours either.

    I am not going to comment on Thursday’s events as I was not there. I prefer to reply on my own eyes and ears. I have already commented on the behaviour of some of the public. I too have had feedback: a director of a company proposing to build - and invest heavily - in the town emailed me the next day as follows: “What on earth was that all about?”

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