WORRIED residents have slammed the behaviour of some parish councillors in a bid to make meetings more productive.

Handforth Parish Council has come under the spotlight following disagreements among its independent members during meetings and alleged incidents involving members of the public.

At its annual parish meeting on Tuesday, May 9, residents were given the chance to voice their concerns to chairman Cllr Cynthia Samson and Ashley Comiskey Dawson, parish clerk.

David Pincombe praised the achievements of the council, but admitted he was disappointed councillors can’t work together despite them having time to resolve issues before meetings.

“There seems to be disparity between councillors,” he said.

“On many occasions I’m quite appalled to hear certain councillors abstaining all the time and not explaining why.

“Why are there so many abstentions when any questions can be asked prior to the meeting? All it’s doing is taking up time when other items of more importance can be considered.”

Susan Moore agreed about the behaviour of ‘a couple’ of councillors, and wanted to see them work as ‘tirelessly’ for the village as other members.

She said: “I have also attended a large number of parish council meetings and a small proportion of the council appears to behave badly.

“I don’t like people arguing in meetings, I don’t think it’s productive, I don’t think dragging people’s names into meetings is productive at all.

“You are there to represent us and to do the best for the parish, and you should not bring personal issues into any of these meetings.”

Henry Mott added that councillors needed to improve their ‘teamwork’ and stop behaving ‘like Westminster’.

Following each resident’s comment, Cllr Samson insisted she agreed that councillors needed to work better together, and improvements would be looked into.

“I have asked those councillors that abstain to give a reason, some do and some don’t,” she said.

“It’s the right of a councillor to abstain but I fully understand where you are coming from.

“I wish I knew [why councillors couldn’t work together]. I will get an answer for you, I will look into it. I agree with you wholeheartedly.”