When is it possible to ask questions, make suggestions or say anything at all as a novice councillor. I am experiencing a form of exclusion / isolation and ostracism - clerk, chair and vice chair will not reply to email, and I’ve been shouted down or humiliated at parish council meetings.
The clerk wrote to me in June ( responding to a suggestion I’d made about more widely advertising co-option vacancies and the one advert that did appear being factual incorrect ) saying “this always happens, new people come along and think they can change everything”. Later, when bringing this matter to the chair, he said that I should basically shut up until I knew how the council works (and that I was beginning to remind him of a past crisis, a result of which was the clerk at the time resigning and most of the councillors stepping down). So I’m at a loss to understand what purpose and contribution I can make, being effectively silenced or ignored by this cabal of officers. Any advice? Is there any recourse at all for a councillor being excluded in these ways? I believe the aim is to freeze me out, force my hand and influence me to step down. I’m NOT going to do that, but I do need to break this pattern, without making things worse.