Ructions in Chard

It hardly seems to be a week goes by without either an ordinary or extraordinary meeting of Chard Town Council. Last night, 3 May, the latest meeting was convened purely to agree answers to questions put by members of the public at the 29 March meeting. But once again plenty of members of the public attended and they had more questions.

We are almost certainly entering one of Dante’s circles of Hell.

Jason Baker was an apology for the meeting as was Deputy Chair of the council, Cllr Claire Brown.

Things fell apart rather quickly when the council debated the question as to whether Chard Town Council has good leadership.

Cllr Jason Hawkes proposed the answer to that should be “no”.  Much to the surprise of the audience, the vote was carried. The LibDems abstaining and the Greens and Independent voting for the answer “no”.

At which point decorum was thrown to the four winds. Mayor, Jenny Kenton threw her chain off office onto the table in front of her, announced her resignation and stormed out. Cllr Andy Kenton also got to his feet, muttered something that sounded impolite in the direction of the public gallery. He left the meeting having clarified first that he was not resigning.

Gary Shortland was elected Chair of the council although it was not clear if he had been elected Mayor. In any case the 9 May Annual Meeting of the Council will require a new mayor to be elected for the year ahead.

Oddly despite the absence Cllrs Kenton, Kenton and Baker the rest of the meeting was productive and the discussions mostly positive.

The next meeting of the Town Council is its Annual Meeting on 9 May. It is unticketed, but perhaps it should be.

There’ll be mor on this in the May edition of The Leveller.


  • A lot of toys being chucked out of the pram here …

  • A lot of Councillor Kenton’s tirade was abusive and not under his breath. It was disrespectful rude and arrogant. He knows nobody can remove him from office which is why he said he would not resign. His outburst left a member of the public in tears and aimed allegations at another particular Councillor. As for the behaviour of the Mayor. Well a tantrum to say the least due to not getting her own way and totally disrespectful not only to the Office of Mayor but also to the people of Chard.
    Both these outbursts bought the Council
    Into disrepute. I hope they review their positions today and do the honourable thing and resign. Councillor Shortland managed the meeting very well and a lot of questions were answered. the atmosphere was respectful and everyone was allowed to speak(something that had not happened previously).

  • It’s time for change. Complete change.
    For me, the Greens seem to be doing far more for Chard than any other representatives.

  • It was a bad mistake to hide the names of councillors involved in bullying. They have cosy chard people a six-figure sum to mop up their bad behaviour and should resign. This is hanging over Chard like a bad smell and the air won’t be cleared until the guilty parties are gone.

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