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Councillors react to fallout from fiery Cookham Parish Council meeting

A parish council chairman has pledged to move on from an attempt to oust him from his leadership role – while recuperating from a vicious attack he suffered in London.

Cllr Andrew Nye faced the prospect of a vote of no confidence at Cookham Parish Council on Tuesday but the motion failed after no councillors, including those who put it on the agenda, backed it.

It came after concerns about contacting Cllr Nye, who was absent for several meetings after the attack, were raised by the outgoing former council clerk, Mark Hollands.

Yesterday (Wednesday), Cllr Nye said: “Obviously, I am pleased that sense prevailed and it did not even get to a vote. I think there are better ways of dealing with things.”

He was upset not to be contacted by councillors who had grievances with him, but insisted he would move on from the issue.

Cllr Nye took time away from parish council meetings and his job at PR firm Reynolds-Mackenzie after suffering retina detachment in his right eye when he was attacked on the London Underground, near Edgware Road, late on Saturday, November 11.

He said a group of about six people in their late teens or early 20s were smoking marijuana and cigarettes on the Tube and when he confronted them, three approached him and his two friends. The attackers punched and kicked Cllr Nye in the head, while his friend Duncan Shaw, who had been celebrating his birthday,

received bruises.

Mr Shaw’s girlfriend, Becky Hickey, came between Cllr Nye and the assailants, and he was able to get off the train before he was struck on the side of the head.

“She really saved my bacon,” Cllr Nye said.

On Friday, December 1 Cllr Nye underwent surgery at the Prince Charles Eye Unit in Windsor. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Councillors did not back the motion of no confidence after Cllr Nye told them he had been in regular contact with Mr Hollands.

Cllr MJ Saunders, one of two councillors who put forward the motion, said yesterday (Wednesday): “I do not expect any breakdown in the professional, constructive and honest relationship which I believe has existed and continues to exist between Cllr Nye and me.”

Mr Hollands said his dissatisfaction with his role stretched back to before Cllr Nye’s attack and absence.

He said on Tuesday: “I would simply say that contact from Cllr Nye was sparse at times, which was why we were unaware anything was wrong following his assault and the two weeks of no contact that ensued.

“Contact was understandably limited following his assault, but the council would have been better able to function had he asked the vice chairman, Cllr Brar, to stand in his place while he recovered. Regrettably, that didn’t happen.”W For more information on the meeting and vote see p33.

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