Council boss in hot water following lockdown meetings... in a hot tub!

Council boss in hot water following lockdown meetings… in his hot tub! Local authority deputy played music at get-togethers that were held from morning into the evening during Covid pandemic, court hears

  • Independent councillor Tom Hollis held meetings in his hot tub during pandemic
  • A neighbour called the police on the deputy leader of Ashfield District Council 
  • Shannon Jones-Golding said Mr Hollis then started ‘intimidating’ her and partner
  • Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard the 28-year-old told her he ‘made the rules’
  • Most people were cut off from friends, family and colleagues in lockdown – but not council leader Tom Hollis, who welcomed a stream of visitors as he held meetings in his garden hot tub.

    He is said to have played music at the council get-togethers, allegedly held from morning into the evening with varying numbers of people.

    Neighbour Shannon Jones-Golding became so concerned that she alerted police – only to be told that, as a key worker, Hollis had not broken any rules. However, magistrates heard that after the officers visited Hollis’s house in Sutton-in-Ashfield, Nottinghamshire, Hollis began ‘intimidating’ the mother-of-two and her partner, Luke Golding.

    Hollis, 28, an independent member of Ashfield District Council, of which he is deputy leader, is said to have told her: ‘I know it was you who made that anonymous call to the police. I heard your voice. I have contacts in the police.’

    He added he ‘made the rules’, saying she would be ‘done for harassment of a key worker’, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard.

    Nottingham Magistrates' Court heard that the deputy leader of Ashfield District Council Tom Hollis (pictured) told his neighbour he 'made the rules' when she accused him of breaking lockdown restrictions

    Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard that the deputy leader of Ashfield District Council Tom Hollis (pictured) told his neighbour he ‘made the rules’ when she accused him of breaking lockdown restrictions

    The independent councillor had held meetings in his hot tub during pandemic, leading neighbour Shannon Jones-Golding to alert the police. (Stock image)

    The independent councillor had held meetings in his hot tub during pandemic, leading neighbour Shannon Jones-Golding to alert the police. (Stock image)

    Two weeks later, Hollis accused his neighbours of breaching lockdown rules when Mr Golding’s father fixed a bike in their garden. The councillor is said to have filmed over the fence and called Mr Golding a ‘paedophile’, before making a 999 call in which he allegedly ‘screamed’ that he was being threatened with a carving knife.

    Police who responded dismissed the claim after seeing footage taken by Mrs Jones-Golding. Hollis is also accused of sending the couple ‘malicious emails’ and messages on council-headed letters signed ‘deputy leader’. They claim this amounts to intimidation.

    Errol Ballentyne, defending, said Mrs Jones-Golding was carrying out a ‘vendetta’. Hollis denies two counts of harassment without violence. The case continues.

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