A COUNCILLOR who chaired a Cheshire East meeting which had to be temporarily adjourned after it descended into chaos has formally apologised this week.

Wilmslow councillor Mark Goldsmith (Ind) told Tuesday’s meeting of the economy and growth committee he was sorry if he had not met the standards expected when he chaired its previous meeting.

That January meeting, which was attended by several members of the public at Macclesfield Town Hall, turned into a shambles during a discussion about safety works required for the Poynton Pool reservoir.

Northwich Guardian: Cllr Mark GoldsmithCllr Mark Goldsmith (Image: Cheshire East Council)

This week, Cllr Goldsmith said: “During the previous committee meeting on January 26, some of those present felt that I was rude to speakers from Friends of Poynton Pool.

“Therefore happy to apologise if I gave that impression, my only intention was to convey the legal obligations on Cheshire East regarding public safety.

“So I apologise if I fell below the standards expected at that meeting.”

Cllr Goldsmith came under fire when, during the January meeting, he challenged experts representing the Friends of Poynton Pool (FPP) community group about their credentials.

Northwich Guardian: Poynton PoolPoynton Pool (Image: Geoff Jennings)

At one stage, while responding to a 5,800 signature petition presented by the group about the historic reservoir – the Wilmslow councillor referred to one of the group’s expert witnesses as a ‘man who worked for a company making hair straighteners’.

This was despite being told earlier in the meeting by the expert himself that he was a chartered engineer and a Fellow of the Institution of Civil Engineers, who was currently working on safety improvements on statutory reservoirs across the UK.

Cllr Goldsmith appeared to have confused the company the expert had once worked for – GHD – with the company of the same name which makes hair straighteners.

This resulted in an angry outburst and calls of ‘outrageous’ from the public gallery.

Sutton councillor Cllr O’Leary (Con) had then called for a new committee chair to be appointed for the rest of the meeting, although that did not happen.

Cllr Goldsmith no longer chairs economy and growth, he is now the chair of the council’s highways and transport committee.

There is no indication the move was in response to events at the January meeting, as a new highways chair was needed because Cllr Craig Browne (Ind) stepped down from the role at the end of the last month.