A VETERAN Yorkshire councillor was found guilty of breaching a council’s code of conduct today after pushing a worker at a waste tip into a wall.
CCTV shows Coun Mary-Rose Hardy, a former chairman of East Riding Council, shoving Gareth Southwell after being told couldn’t dump election leaflets at the Humberfield household waste recycling site, at Hessle, near Hull.
The CCTV was shown to the standards committee - of which Coun Hardy is a member - at a hearing today.
It heard evidence from Mr Southwell, that she was “irate” because she had to wait in a queue to get into the site, which had been closed for health and safety reasons.
He told the council’s senior legal officer when he approached her about the two stacks of election leaflets and told her they were “business” waste, she allegedly said she was a councillor and swore it him.
Mr Southwell, who was not at today’s hearing, said he had never been grabbed before in his seven years at the site: “She was ranting and raving.
“She grabbed my arms and pushed me backwards into the wall.”
When she was shown the CCTV the councillor remarked: “Gosh, I did push him a long way.”
Senior legal officer Nick King told the committee: “What can’t be in dispute is that she grabbed an operative and pushed him with force for a distance.”
Independent person Mandy Tomlinson suggested they apply a similar punishment to the councillor as they would to a council employee as councillors had a “role of leadership.”
The committee found she had breached the code of conduct and have recommended she write a letter of apology to Mr Southwell.
She could also be removed from the standards committee, depending on a final decision at a meeting of the council later this month.
At the hearing the Lib Dem councillor admitted “pushing Mr Southwell out of the boot of the car”, but said he was “rooting” in her boot. She said she had offered to apologise following the incident, adding: “I do regret what I did...It was of course a pressured moment.” She has denied swearing.