Husband swears at Overton councillors after they snub his wife

Basingstoke Gazette: Angela and Graham Gould Angela and Graham Gould

A HUSBAND lost his temper and used foul language after a parish council rejected his wife’s plea to fill a vacant seat.

Graham Gould’s outburst came at Overton Parish Council’s May meeting as he swore at borough councillor Ian Tilbury for questioning Angela Gould’s suitability to sit on the parish council.

Mrs Gould had made a passionate speech about why she wanted to become a councillor, and even compared herself to Cllr Tilbury, saying: “He always works hard to make sure that things get done for residents.”

But the flattery got her nowhere as Cllr Tilbury brought up a long-running boundary dispute Mrs Gould was involved in, regarding her home in Red Lion Lane, and claimed it had cost the council thousands of pounds trying to resolve the matter.

The row, which has previously been reported in The Gazette, concerns the ownership of a strip of land at Mr and Mrs Gould’s home, which the council claim infringes the Edward Kersley playing field.

Following Mrs Gould’s speech, the press and public were asked to leave the meeting while councillors decided whether she should be co-opted on to the council. But despite being the only candidate to apply, Mrs Gould failed to get enough support to become a councillor.

Mrs Gould has now submitted a formal complaint to Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council’s monitoring officer, criticising Cllr Tilbury’s behaviour during the meeting and claiming he launched a “tirade of abusive allegations”.

But Cllr Tilbury has hit back, pointing out that the only abusive language came from Mr Gould.

In her complaint, Mrs Gould apologised for her husband’s language, saying: “He felt the need to defend my good name and in so doing was verbally abusive towards Cllr Tilbury. I am sorry for this outburst over which I had no personal control.”

She told The Gazette: “I would be happy to answer all of the other allegations made by Cllr Tilbury and to present accurate, evidenced facts, but I did not feel that it was appropriate to do so in the context of my application to become a parish councillor.

“I felt as if I had been put on trial by the parish council, rather than being given fair consideration and equality of opportunity for a voluntary job.

“Cllr Tilbury did not treat me as an individual and spoke of my husband and I as if we were one person. I found this particularly insulting, because I certainly have a mind of my own.”

But Cllr Tilbury, who believes his comments were fair, said: “We have to judge whether a person is fit to be a parish councillor.”

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