A stalwart hotelier claims he has been “bullied” out of chairing meetings between police officers and members of the public.
Patrick McPartling, who runs the Briardene Hotel, on Osborne Road, South Shore, had chaired the Waterloo ward PACT (Police and Communities Together) meetings for the past two years.
However, at the group’s meeting at Holy Trinity Church, on Dean Street, on Tuesday evening attendees were informed local police officers would now be chairing the meetings after claims that issues not related to the policing of the area were being brought up in meetings.
However, Mr McPartling has refuted these claims.
He said: “I’m not very happy because really and truly the questions that we needed answering were police questions.
“There were certain things that normally in PACT meetings we get sorted out.
“What I’d like to know is why they’re sacking me, and to me it’s a form of bullying.
“I enjoy doing the PACT meetings, it takes up a lot of my time but I’m there for the community and have been for the past 22 years.”
Coun Tony Lee, who has represented Waterloo ward for six years, said: “It seems that things are being done behind our back all the time, but I wasn’t informed what was going on. Patrick has been chairing the PACT meeting for two years and they’ve put this on him.”
A police spokesman said the new format would get meetings “back on track”.
He said: “Police and Communities Together meetings give people the opportunity to discuss crime and anti social behaviour concerns with their local officers.
“The meetings must fulfil the role of the police and for a number of months, issues being raised at the Waterloo PACT were not police related.
“Officers have stepped in to chair the next few meetings to re establish the correct format and to get the PACT back on track.”