A LIVE webcast was shut down when two angry businessmen publicly challenged council leader Mike Jones over debts they claim his firm owes them.
Tiler Stephen Trollope, 41, from Littleton, Chester and roofer Ray Hinson from Prestatyn confronted Cllr Jones as he chaired this evening’s executive meeting held in Cheshire West and Chester Council's HQ building.
But Cllr Jones (Tattenhall, Con), who has called a creditors’ meeting to close down his firm ASC Developments (Chester) Ltd in Saltney, said the matter was ‘non-council business’ and it was not appropriate to hear from them.
However, the men were allowed to speak for only a few moments each before the live council webcast was turned off and the meeting stood down for a few minutes.
Council chief executive Steve Robinson left the room and consulted two male attendants on reception but Mr Hinson and Mr Trollope were already walking out of the meeting.
Creditor Mr Hinson, 61, a roofer for more than 40 years, invoiced ASC for a total of £9,384 for two roofing jobs at Higher Kinnerton and Nantwich which he claims the firm has never paid.
Mr Hinson told the meeting: “I’m here for one reason, the gentleman there, Mr Mike Jones, owes me £9,500. You promised me Mr Jones, you promised me faithfully that you were going to pay me.”
Tiler Mr Trollope has obtained a court order instructing ASC to pay £2,880 owed to his firm Cheshire Screeding Services for tiling work on two bathrooms at a house in Antrobus last August.
Mr Trollope, who intends to make a complaint under the council code of conduct, said: “Authority is a very powerful word. People within our authority are in positions that can influence thousands of lives with a budget of millions. I am a local resident of Chester and Cheshire West, I vote for you as councillors.
“I believe that your chairman has brought his position into disrepute.”
He mentioned his intention to raise a petition of 1,500 names to trigger a debate on his concerns at the full council meeting.
Both Cllr Jones and Cheshire West and Chester Council have so far made no public comment on the fate of ASC Developments as they consider it to be a private matter.