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Land dispute couple thrown out of Overton Parish Council meeting
A COUPLE stuck in the middle of a dispute over a piece of land, were thrown out of a council meeting.
Angela and Graham Gould attended Overton Parish Council on February 13 to hear discussions about their home in Red Lion Lane.
It has been the subject of a long-running dispute because, when the property was built, it encroached onto the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council-owned Edward Kersley Playing Field, which is leased to the parish council.
Parish councillors have since been requesting the borough council to take enforcement action on the matter.
Mrs Gould said that at the parish council meeting, her 62-year-old husband put his hand up to ask a question, but was not permitted to speak by chairman Councillor Tom Ridler because it was not during the time set aside for questions from the public.
She added: “Both my husband and I made further attempts to ask our question in a polite and unthreatening way.”
She added that when they tried again to ask a question, the meeting was suspended and they were asked to leave, with the threat of the police being called.
“This was more than humiliating,” said Mrs Gould.
She added that although they were aware that questions should be asked in public time, it was not until they heard the discussions that they could comment.
She added: “If we were to be forced into fighting any legal action over our boundary, then it could ruin us, and so we do have very valid reasons for wanting a full understanding of the situation.”
Cllr Ridler admitted he had asked the couple to leave and had threatened to call the police, and said: “It’s a meeting which is open to the public to observe but it’s not a public meeting. They chose not to speak at the beginning during public time and I said ‘I’m sorry, you are not allowed to speak’.”
He added that the parish council is now waiting for the borough council to state where the boundary is before deciding what to do next.
The borough council has already said it will not take enforcement action.