Milford Haven mayor criticised for wearing chains to pub
9:38am Friday 3rd August 2012 in Milford Haven
THE Milford Haven mayor’s decision to wear his mayoral chains during a visit to a pub and nightclub has been publicly criticised by fellow members of the town council who branded it “inappropriate”.
Themayor, Councillor Guy Woodham, wore the chains to visit the Haven Hotel and Circles nightclub last month.
Three times mayor of the town, Cllr Eric Harries, said mayors have previously awaited an invitation before officially attending any event or occasion, adding: “I would respectfully suggest avoiding changing this procedure. I personally believe it is far more appropriate for an invitation to be given to the clerk who then passes it on to you.”
Cllr Woodham admitted that not all the engagements he had attended in July were by official invite but said he would not change his approach.
“I stated in my inauguration speech that I would take every opportunity to wear the mayoral chain to as many different places and locations as possible within the town.
“I made this statement in the belief that the mayor should be visible, accessible and prepared to speak and listen to all members of the community.”
Referring to his visit to the Haven Hotel, Cllr Tony Eden said his main concern was the specific place Cllr Woodham attended.
“Are you aware this premises has previously had its licence revoked and is still being closely monitored by police?” he asked.
Cllr Eden said it was “inappropriate”, stating the mayor’s visit was “certainly not representing me” by visiting this establishment.
Cllr John Cole said Cllr Woodham’s intentions were ‘laudable’ but urged him to take time to reflect, adding: “There are certain places I personally would be reluctant to attend on my own.”
Cllr John Roberts said: “You weren’t there officially; what about the insurance of the chain? What if someone had grabbed the chain?”
Cllr Woodham said he was disappointed to hear the suggestion that there were ‘no go’ areas in the town.
“It is very disappointing to hear some fellow councillors raise publicly the question of the appropriateness of the mayoral chain being worn in ‘no go areas’ of the town.”
“I would like to make it very clear that I do not accept that there are any such areas or venues within Milford.
“By going out to different places in the town, I am able to engage with people who would not necessarily meet the mayor in any other way.
This gives them an opportunity to express their views and concerns which helps me understand their priorities. I am here to serve the whole community of Milford Haven and wish to promote the town and council in a positive way.
I believe you can only achieve this by engaging openly with everyone.”
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