Redenhall with Harleston Town Council chairman quits during meeting – and criticises town’s business forum

Barry Woods.
Barry Woods.

Redenhall with Harleston Town Council chairman Barry Woods resigned during a meeting on Wednesday – as the row over the town’s car parking intensified.

Mr Woods, who has had two stints on the council for a combined 10 years, described the behaviour of the representatives of the Harleston and District Business Forum at a single-issue meeting on car parking last Wednesday as “totally unacceptable” and “disgusting”.

I have had enough of this. I care far too much about Harleston for that to happen

Barry Woods

He said the meeting – where the deadline for a decision on the town’s free car parking was extended to the end of October – was the “most appalling” he has overseen in his time at the council.

He made a string of allegations against the forum – including holding secret meetings with South Norfolk Council over the parking issue.

An emotional Mr Woods, who served as chairman for the past three years, said: “All of the councillors who serve on this council do so for no payment.

“They do it because they care about Harleston and to have them attacked in the way they were by the people who do not agree with the way the council was going is totally unacceptable.

“I personally care passionately about the people of Harleston and, quite frankly, I am disgusted in the way the business forum tried to shut down any reasonable debate and try to coerce the councillors present to get the decision they wanted them to get, regardless of the consequences to the tax payers of Harleston.”

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Woods said: “I’ve spent 22 years in the police, being honest and telling people the way it is and being up front about things.

“But as a councillor, I cannot do that. I have had enough of this. I care far too much about Harleston for that to happen.”

Harleston and District Business Forum has been contacted for comment.