The turbulent in-fighting among Melksham councillors boiled over as one councillor is ejected during a no-confidence debate.

A vote of no confidence against the mayor, council leader and their deputies threatened to shake up Melksham’s full council last night.

However, at the start of the proceedings, Cllr Vanessa Fiorelli spoke about the council getting back to the business of serving the community. Which led her to withdraw her motion of no confidence in councillor’s Richard Wiltshire, Jon Hubbard, Mike Sankey and Clive Jeffries.

The town council leader said: “It doesn’t sit very well with me bringing motions like this forward.

“I wanted to convey my concern around how we’ve managed to get to this stage and also more than anything, look at how we can move forward."

“We all have our community at heart and it’s important that’s what comes first.”

She also extended an offer to councillors to sit down and work on how the council could work together in the future.

The motion’s seconder, Cllr Adrienne Westbrook, deputy leader of the council supported with the leader’s sentiment and withdrew the motion.

However, Cllr Martin Pain said he wanted the vote to go ahead and that he ‘did not need or want their confidence’. Cllr Wiltshire agreed that the vote on Cllr Fiorelli’s motion should still go ahead.

Cllr Hayley Illman said: “I find it a great shame that Cllr Pain and Cllr Wiltshire can’t see that what we’re trying to do here is move forward for the future and benefit of our town.

“I would like to see this put to bed and that we can just get on with the rest of this year and do something good for the people of Melksham because God knows they need it.”

With the previous motion withdrawn, yet another vote of no confidence against Cllrs Pat Aves, Geoff Mitcham, Vanessa Fiorelli and Adrienne Westbrook was still tabled.

This motion was brought forward by Cllr Richard Wilshire regarded the sum £40,000 spent by the town council earlier this year when the town clerk and assistant town clerk were suspended. An amount he says has ‘achieved absolutely nothing’ and that the situation had not been resolved.

The £40,000 figure was disputed by Cllr Fiorelli and confirmed by the town clerk, Linda Roberts, who said the cost of the locum clerk was around £21,000.

She added that the town council were due back £2,500 in a deposit. Additionally, other HR costs, on top of the council’s yearly fee were £4,500, according to the clerk.

During the debate, Cllr Pain said he wanted to talk about ‘the reality of the situation,’ criticising the leadership model of the town council and the staffing situation which led to many of the internal issues in the authority.

However, Cllr Pain was then admonished for his ‘aggressive tone’ by fellow councillors and was eventually ejected from the meeting following a majority vote.

Cllr Westbrook then asked fellow councillors if the seven members of staff ‘had the right to bring forward concerns about their health and safety’. This being the catalyst for the staffing and cost disputes raised.

Responding, Cllr Jon Hubbard said: “This motion is not about those seven members of staff, as I read it. This motion is about how four councillors conducted themselves in response to what those seven members of staff said. And the fact that decisions were taken outside of the proper decision-making process.

“But I don’t think it’s constructive for any of us to be doing this. I wish we could just shut up and get on with doing our jobs.”

Cllr Fiorelli acknowledged that ‘certain councillors’ were unhappy with how the situation was handled but said that council ratified the proceedings and urged councillors to start looking forward.

The vote of no confidence in the four councillors was rejected, however, with seven councillors voting against the motion and five in favour.