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March 15, 2011

Bucks Free Press reporter challenges request for him to leave public meeting

By admin

A Bucks Free Press reporter successfully challenged a decision to exclude him from a meeting that discussed a row between two mayors.

Lawrence Dunhill was covering a meeting of High Wycombe’s Charter Trustees, a unique body established to oversee the mayoralty, when leader of Wycombe District Council Lesley Clarke attempted to exclude the public and press when the accounts of the ex-mayor’s charity appeal was brought forward for discussion.

Dunhill did not leave and told the meeting that a reason for the exclusion must be stated and a formal motion passed – other trustees then questioned  if there was a valid reason for barring the press and then allowed the reporter to stay, his paper reported.

The main event of the meeting was an ongoing row between current mayor Jane White and ex-mayor Julie Pritchard, over the accounts of the mayor’s charity appeal as White sought to challenge the accounts filed under the previous mayor.

‘Councillor White says the accounts are ‘incomplete’ with ‘many discrepancies’, and raised her concerns at a meeting of the town’s charter trustees,’The Bucks Free Press reported.

‘But fellow Tory councillor Tony Green, the deputy leader of Wycombe District Council, called the row ‘ludicrous and embarrassing’, telling Cllr White: ‘I’m appalled by your behaviour tonight, you seem to be pursuing a vendetta.

‘The finance committee, by a majority, agreed the accounts and they were accepted.”

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