THERE was fallout from political changes on Melksham Town Council this week, as councillors voted on committee member and leaderships, with fiery remarks flying around an online meeting.

Because all the former LibDem members of the town council have now decided to stand as Independents, the council found itself in breach of standing order 5, which says that committee membership should be politically proportional to the make-up of the council.

The council now has 11 Independent councillors and four Conservatives.

Town Mayor Cllr Pat Aves (Ind) proposed leaving the current committee membership as it was. This was challenged by Independent Cllr Jon Hubbard who said ‘the circumstances had materially changed’ and they would need to be counted as an ‘Independent group’.

Council leader Cllr Vanessa Fiorelli (Ind), who took issue with the idea of an Independent group, said: “The right representation is on each committee, there’s no issues with it being detrimental to the Conservatives or to the Independent councillors, so I don’t see why we are revisiting this when it is reflective of the make up of the councillors.”

Cllr Hubbard then said that the clerk would have to calculate the balance based on 11 individual independent councillors and the four who make up the Conservative group.

Cllr Adrienne Westbrook (Ind) also didn’t agree with Cllr Hubbard, adding angrily: “I’m not part of an Independent group, in 2006 I was elected as an Independent and in 2015 as well.

“I will not have anything to do with certain councillors on this council. I don’t believe they are democratic. I think they have another agenda.”

Cllr Martin Pain (Ind) expressed that he was sad that ‘vitriolic remarks’ could be made in the council and that it did not ‘bode well’ for future co-operation.

He said: “It looks to me, to be an attempt to hold on to the position and the decision making that has been going on ever since I’ve been on this council.”

Cllr Fiorelli said that the councillors needed to move on a remember that they are there to ‘work for the community’.

The motion was carried, with councillors voting eight for, six against with one abstention.