A SADDLEWORTH Parish councillor has accused a convicted colleague of “casting a shadow” by attending a traditional handing-over ceremony for the new chair role.
Convicted sex offender Mike Buckley turned up when Cllr Pam Byrne was appointed the chair of Saddleworth Parish Council for 2016/17.
Earlier this year, Cllr Buckley was found guilty of downloading indecent images of naked young boys but has so far refused to resign from his post.
A delegation of councillors and MP Debbie Abrahams recently met a top government minister demanding a change in the law to prevent any councillor found guilty of child sex offences remaining in their position.
Cllr Buckley did not speak at the ceremony, which also saw OMBC and Parish Councillor Nicola Kirkham, elected as vice chair.
After, independent councillor Robert Knotts said: “Cllr Buckley’s offensive insensitivity to the effect of his conviction on the community shows deep selfishness and arrogance on his part.
“The evening belonged to Pam – and Nicola Kirkham her new deputy – and Cllr Buckley’s attendance cast an unacceptable shadow over the proceedings.”
Cllr Kirkham added: “The reaction of the invited guests and some Parish councillors was absolute disgust that Cllr Buckley had the arrogance to attend.
“Although he did not stay for refreshments, it seemed there was an atmosphere in the room after his attendance, even though he left immediately after the meeting.
“This night was about Cllr Byrne, not him. I am calling for Cllr Buckley’s resignation again.”
Dobcross resident Holly Wood said: “Cllr Buckley attending this meeting sends a clear message to the people of Saddleworth who have openly stated he should resign that our views mean nothing to him.
“Cllr Buckley’s arrogance that he feels he has a right to be a such an important meeting and disrupt it in such a way that the whole evening was about him speaks volumes.
“I cannot understand why a man that proclaims to love Saddleworth Parish Council continues to blight the Parish with his presence.
“I openly ask Cllr Buckley to consider his position and I seek his resignation, which will ensure Saddleworth Parish Council can start a new year in a positive light and continue with the hard work of every volunteer councillor.”