Hearing halted by ‘heckling’ councillor

Gareth Fairhurst
Gareth Fairhurst

AN outspoken Wigan councillor has been banned from using a funding scheme to support community projects for the rest of his term of office.

Standish Independent Gareth Fairhurst also faces being stripped of his role as a high school governor, a council standards committee has said.

A town hall meeting had been arranged to discuss further punishment following his refusal to follow sanctions from a previous hearing.

Proceedings were brought to a halt last night when Coun Fairhurst, who had opted not to attend in an official capacity, interrupted chair Coun Charles Rigby.

Coun Rigby said: “We will have to reconvene, I am not having Coun Fairhurst heckling when he is here as a member of the public.”

After a brief adjournment, the meeting continued with Coun Fairhurst warned against making further outbursts.

In May the standards committee upheld a complaint from Coun Clive Morgan about statements written by Coun Fairhurst on a web forum. He had been asked to formally apologise and agree to further training with council officers but has refused to co-operate.

The ban on using the Brighter Borough funding can be reduced to 12 months if Coun Fairhurst follows the sanctions, the committee added.