A heated row over a memorial garden in Yarm has rumbled on with a campaigner ejected from meeting.

Former teacher Carole Jones erected a tent on Snaith’s Field, on Bentley Wynd, last month as a protest against efforts to build a garden to commemorate the town’s fallen soldiers.

And tempers frayed on Tuesday night when Mrs Jones went to the Yarm Town Hall to collect her tent at the latest council meeting.

The six metre by four metre memorial garden has now been installed – despite hundreds of residents objecting to the Yarm Town Council plan.

But the council has now reconsidered after talks with descendants of the field’s former owners.

The 63-year-old asked for her tent, “stolen from her peaceful protest”, to be given back and thanked the council for reconsidering their stance.

Mrs Jones argued the field was left in a covenant to the children of Yarm adding it was “dangerous within a children’s play area”.

Town clerk Terry Chapman said the tent wasn’t stolen and accused Mrs Jones of misleading people.

Chairman Cllr Peter Monck said the council had spoken to the descendants of the Clapham family and “agreed to move it after Christmas”.

“I can’t give you a date – we are still trying to find another site to put it in,” he added.

Mr Chapman said the family were “quite happy” for the dedication to go ahead on November 11 and were also happy to meet in January to “review the situation”.

The town council plan has divided opinion.

Some believe the field has been a dedicated recreational space for the town for almost a century – and should remain so.

Others think Yarm’s soldiers should be remembered – but the town’s cenotaph already fills the role.

Meanwhile, Mrs Jones told councillors she’d seen two children “nearly have an accident” on a roundabout in the field’s play park and asked to see a risk assessment.

Cllr Monck said this was the responsibility of the parents.

And Cllr Sandra McLeavy didn’t take kindly to being told she was being abusive when she shared her frustration with the question.

“Abused? Carole, if you want to be abused, I’ll bl**dy abuse you but not in here,” added Cllr McLeavy.

“It’s children jumping off them and we’re supposed to do something? It’s the parents isn’t it.”

The mood didn’t improve as the meeting went on.

Later, Mr Chapman told councillors they were putting too much responsibility on his shoulders – which sparked cries of “rubbish”.

He added: “You are stretching your town clerk too much.

“The different aspects of the town clerk’s job – I don’t think people appreciate the 24/7 nature of it.

“It’s ok for councillors not to listen and sit po-faced but you are putting too much workload on a town clerk.”

Mrs Jones questioned Mr Chapman’s remit and this sparked Cllr Monck to suspend the meeting until she left.

Mr Chapman opened the door for her and told her to leave no fewer than 12 times.

He added: “You’ve been asked to leave – please leave the building. Don’t forget to take your tent.”

AFTERMATH

After the meeting, Cllr Monck said the council had spent £15,000 on the new play area and it was up to parents to “make sure they didn’t do anything silly”.

Mrs Jones said she wasn’t a troublemaker.

The grandmother-of-eight added: “To me, they were taking land from the children of Yarm.

“We have an obesity crisis going on at the moment and allowing children to run around and play football is what we should be doing.”

© 2018 Tees Info

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