A contributor (who wishes to remain anonymous) has kindly provided a transcript of the exchange between Labour councillor Ian St.John and Independent councillor Stuart Thornton at APC on September 15th. St.John vehemently denies a complaint was ever made against him ( I have written evidence of the complaint-to be published later)-that exposes St.John as a person who cannot be trusted to tell the truth. It is worth mentioning that St.John was a Borough councillor at the time much of the child abuse was going on. The transcript is reproduced below:
ISJ-Someone (Cllr.Thornton) on my left hand side is trying to talk across me.
ST–Chair, I am going to stand up on a point of order, Cllr.St.John has been talking about treating members of the council with respect. He has just called me a barrack room lawyer. I find that insulting and I find it humiliating and that is not treating members of the council with respect. I now expect you to take some action. The Chairman (John Ireland) sat and said nothing.
ISJ-Chair, can I finish what I was going to say, the business of the council is continually disrupted. I was’nt at the meeting which did’nt do more than about 40 minutes of business on Monday. I was, I was (unclear) School Governors meeting. It’s quite clear on occasions there are members of the public who disrupt our meetings and I don’t think it is good enough to say that people get hurt feelings and want to stop. I think this council has a number of people who have been very badly insulted. I fear within the village of Anston there are many people who have a lot to offer this village but will not stand for election because of the abuse they could possibly receive. Now I happen to have a thick skin. I also happen to believe that I have a lot to offer and I want to carry on doing that but we do not need this continual backbiting simply because we disagree.
Chair-Right, can we move on?
ST-I would like to reply to that.
GJ-(Unclear) apologies given.
ST- Can I just say the councillor here (Cllr.St.John) on camera has just been complaining about backbiting and insulting members of the public. Can we place it on camera and on record this is the councillor who abused an elderly gentleman of this village and was put in front of the Standards Committee for it. So when he starts to give lectures to other councillors and members of the public about behaviour he needs to look a little bit closer to home.
Chair-Right. (General talking)
ISJ-(Raised voice) On a point of fact Chair that is untrue.
ST-So you was not in front of the Standards Committee then?
ST-You was’nt in front of the Standards Committee for insulting a member of the public?
ST-That’s three times you have said no, so did you not insult Mr.D?
ST-Did Mr.D not make a complaint against you?
ISJ-No he did’nt.
ST_ That’s four times you have denied it.
ISJ-Yes Chair, this is where accuracy is important.
ST_Definitely it’s important.
ISJ-Without being interrupted please, the complaint I tried to ask for to speak with Mr.D is perfectly correct. The actual complaint about what I tried to do was actually made by somebody else, on his behalf, not by Mr. D.
ST-Oh, let’s have this one out.
ISJ-(Unclear) you have seen….?? the truth, can we make progress?
ST-Who made the complaint on behalf of Mr.D?
At this point ISJ totally ignored the question and looked straight ahead. The Chairman just carried on with the meeting as if nothing had been said.
The residents of Anston do not expect councillors to deny the truth or to engage in rudeness and bickering. Labour councillors Burton, Dalton, St.John and Stonebridge have a history of fudging answers to questions and in several instances they have failed to be completely honest with members of the public. Their behaviour and attitudes to the public at APC meetings is unacceptable.