‘This is rigged init?’: Sandown councillor accused of ‘rigged’ jibe

A Sandown ward and town councillor has been accused of calling a town council meeting “rigged”.

Councillor Debbie Andre (Sandown North) has been implicated by the minutes from the last Sandown Town Council meeting on September 10.

The agenda states: “Cllr Andre is recorded as accusing the meeting of being rigged.”

The meeting in question was held at 11am and was well attended by members of the public.

A video shot by Cllr Alex Lightfoot of the September 10 meeting shows Cllr Andre remain silent at three minutes and five seconds as someone out of frame laughs and is heard to say: “This is rigged, init?”

Cllr Andre said: “Anyone who watches the video taken by Cllr Lightfoot, widely circulated on Facebook, will see that this is incorrect and untrue.

“It can be clearly seen at 3.05 that, while the comment was made, it was clearly not made by me and appears to have come from a member of the public. I am not sure how this error, which if it had any substance, would be damaging to me, has come about. I wrote to the clerk on Friday pointing out the error and asking her to correct the minutes prior to publishing them on the Sandown Town Council website, but I have not, as yet, had a reply.”

Sandown Town Mayor, Cllr Jacquie Mereweather said: “From my own experience it is extremely hard while there is constant interrupting and commenting during a meeting to know who is making the statements.

“You have the video but the clerk when writing her minutes would not have had the benefit of that.

“Cllr Andre will have the opportunity of pointing out the alleged error and having the minutes corrected at the next council meeting.”

Sandown Town Council’s Clerk Tina Bailey has been contacted for comment.