WESTBURY Town Council has refused to appoint another representative to PubWatch after the group ‘sacked’ town councillor Mike Cuthbert-Murray.
At a town council meeting on Monday 7th September councillors voted 12-1 against appointing a successor for cllr Cuthbert-Murray, who PubWatch demanded be replaced for what they perceived as damaging the reputation of the licensed trade in the town.
Cllr Cuthbert-Murray had spoken out about daytime and binge drinking in Westbury. In a letter to the White Horse News and the town council, Mike Jackson, chairman of PubWatch, declared that PubWatch no longer wanted to work with cllr Cuthbert - Murray.
The council motion, tabled by cllr David Tout, declined to appoint another representative, and invited PubWatch to demonstrate it was “properly constituted” before they would do so.
Councillors also said that in their opinion PubWatch should not seek to promote the image of the licenced trade in the town, but should only be concerned with tackling problems of nuisance drinking.
For the discussion of the motion cllr Cuthbert-Murray left the meeting and was not present for the vote.
After the meeting cllr Tout said, “The majority view of the debaters was that cllr Cuthbert-Murray had been treated shabbily and disgracefully by the PubWatch committee and it had been discourteous to the council by releasing its letter to the press before consulting either parties.
“The decision was not taken lightly as the Town Council endeavours to work with the area’s licensees, police and other agencies to curb and control anti-social behaviour that happens within our environment.”
White Horse News sources have revealed that Mike Jackson has now apologised to cllr Cuthbert-Murray and has tended his resignation as chairman of PubWatch.
Since the White Horse News published PubWatch’s letter, two members of the scheme, the Labour Club and The Castle Inn, have withdrawn in protest at the content.
PubWatch has declined to comment on the town council’s decision, allegations, or Mike Jackson’s resignation.
Cllr Cuthbert-Murray declined to comment on the council’s decision, saying that it was a matter for the town council.