Complaints have been lodged against two councillors over their behaviour at a fractious public meeting.

Guisborough councillors Peter Berry and Bill Clarke are accused of breaking Redcar and Cleveland Council’s code of conduct for elected members following a meeting earlier this month.

The pair, both independents, are said to have angrily shouted at residents at a neighbourhood action partnership meeting held in the town’s Sunnyfield House community centre, leading a woman to walk out in apparent disgust.

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One account described the meeting as a “shambles”, which descended into “mayhem and chaos”.

Both councillors, who have been contacted for comment, were said to be “screaming and shouting” with personal insults allegedly also being traded.

However another person present at the meeting merely said opinions had been “expressed forcefully” and described events as a “storm in a teacup”.

The meeting, which was also attended by the council’s monitoring officer Steve Newton, had discussed a number of matters, including issues with heavy goods vehicles, a requested review of the terms of reference for the partnership and a recent successful levelling up bid for Guisborough.

A council spokesman said: “We can confirm receipt of two complaints with regard to the behaviour of individuals at the meeting and that both complaints have been referred to an assessment sub-committee in line with the procedure for dealing with such matters. 

“The assessment sub-committee will consider the complaints initially and decide whether a formal investigation is required, or if the issues can be resolved by way of other action.”

Assessment sub-committee hearings are held in private and overseen by nominated councillors and independent members.

They consider written submissions from councillors in response to any allegations made and can schedule further hearings for an individual to appear in person.


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In many instances complaints result in no action being taken, while informal resolutions can also be sought between parties.

Should a formal investigation take place, which results in a breach of the code of conduct being found, there are a variety of sanctions able to be imposed by a council, anything from instructing a councillor to undergo training, to removing them from positions of responsibility, and excluding the subject from council premises.