A Falmouth councillor failed to apologise for her “rude” behaviour after she was found to have breached the code of conduct.

Cllr Zoe Young, town councillor for the Falmouth Arwenack ward, was found to have breached a number of articles of the code of conduct after complaints were made by the mayor, fellow councillors, their relatives, tall ship volunteers, security personnel and the Falmouth BID manager.

She was accused of attacking her fellow councillors online and undermining the mayor’s authority.

She was also accused of being “breathtakingly rude and offensive” during this year’s Tall Ship’s event and attempting to undermine the "credibility, ability and morale" of the organising team.

At a full meeting of Falmouth Town Council on Monday night, councillors considered the findings of the monitoring officer’s report.

Falmouth mayor Kirstie Edwards told the meeting it was clear it was not the town council’s complaint but several complaints made by individual persons.

Cllr Young claimed she had sent an appeal against the findings of the monitoring office in February.

However town clerk Mark Williams said he had checked with the monitoring office that day (Monday) and no appeal had been received.

Cllr Edwards said recommendations had been made as to how Cllr Young and the council go forward and the council should note the report and agree directions that had been made, but it was not up for debate.

However, she said it was the chance for Cllr Young to speak and the opportunity for her to offer any apology she may have to give the complainants and she was given three minutes to respond.

Cllr Young started by saying that the whole thing had been an “absolute nightmare” from start to finish.

“As a councillor we are expected to do what we can to represent the voices of all sections of our communities,” she said.

“When speaking for the unheard, it involves asking questions that people would prefer not to be asked and sometimes it has been incredibly difficult as a result of that, with people with far greater power than I have who do not want certain questions to be asked.

“All the questions I have asked, all the things I have transmitted from the residents responding to the coalescing emergencies that we face from the climate and ecological emergency.”

She said the town council claimed it was tackling them but it was not.

At this point she was interrupted by Cllr Steve Eva on a point of order who said that the three minutes was for Cllr Young to issue an apology if she wanted to.

“It was not to go on about policies or debates or pleading innocent or pleading guilty,” he said. “It is purely to give an apology and if not then the councillor shouldn’t be speaking.”

Cllr Edwards issued a warning to Cllr Young about her response.

Town clerk Mark Williams said that Cllr Young could address the report and recognise the report and look at the mitigations in it and that’s what the three minutes was about.

Responding Cllr Young said she was sorry if this was not what people wanted to hear and was sorry that the council had been unable to date to implement reasonable adjustments she had requested for her disabilities.

She said she was sorry that the compliance office had found she was doing the “right thing in the wrong way” when she still not in receipt of reasonable adjustments she had been requesting.

However, in his findings, the compliance officer noted that Disability Cornwall had said that the town council had attempted to work with her multiple times and offered many different reasonable adjustments.

Cllr Young said she had come to Cornwall to escape domestic abuse and she considered the position she now found herself in to be “abusive”.

She was again interrupted by Cllr Eva who threatened to go home in protest as there was supposed to be no debate about the findings.

“Cllr Young has been given three minutes to apologise to the people who she has been found ‘guilty’ of offending by the monitoring officer,” he said. “It’s not to go on about anything else and if councillor Young isn’t going to apologise on the monitoring officer’s report then she shouldn’t be speaking at all.”


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He said if she was to continue to speak then he was going to go home as he was wasting his time.

Cllr Edwards moved to the vote on the findings as she said Cllr Young had her three minutes and failed to address the report.

Cllr Young disputed this and said she still had 20 seconds left because of all the interruptions.

When the mayor told her she’d actually had five minutes, Cllr Young claimed it was a “Kangaroo court” and refused to sit down at which point the mayor went to a vote to suspend the meeting for five minutes.

When she returned councillors voted to accept the findings of the report.