Fundraisers snub Gosport mayor after pub ban

Lady mayoress Paula Carter and Gosport mayor Wayne Ronayne.'Picture: Gosport Borough Council.
Lady mayoress Paula Carter and Gosport mayor Wayne Ronayne.'Picture: Gosport Borough Council.
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Clockwise from top left, Hayley North, Helene Birt, Hilary Ward and James Cowlishaw outside court

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FUNDRAISERS have decided not to elect Gosport’s mayor as their president after he was banned from the town’s pubs.

The Gosporteers raise cash for the mayor’s charities each year but have voted to postpone picking Councillor Wayne Ronayne as their head after the ban.

Brian Russell from the Gosporteers said the group is not taking sides on the alleged incident at The Star pub in High Street.

As revealed in The News, Tory Cllr Ronayne was banned from 36 pubs and clubs in the town after an alleged incident on the day he took office.

The group he was with were asked to leave the pub and were escorted from the pub by police.

The mayoress Paula Carter was banned for 12 months.

Witnesses said she threatened to have the pub closed down and went on to Nelsons bar down the road and made the same comments.

CCTV images obtained by The News show Ms Carter outside Nelsons.

Mr Russell said: ‘We regard what happened as a personal matter but it does affect the standing of the mayor in Gosport.

‘Normally the mayor would be our president but not until this is resolved.

‘We need to be assured that we’re raising funds for the position, not for the person.

‘We take no side as to what happened. It’s very sad whatever the reality of the situation was.

‘It’s the impression that its created that’s important. It’s put Gosport in a bad light.’

But the group has asked Cllr Ronayne to open its summer fete at Walpole Park on July 12.

A councillor who was at the pub on June 4 when the incident was alleged to have taken place has broken his silence.

Cllr Richard Dickson, who was mayor in 2012/13, said he did not see any inappropriate or abusive behaviour by any of the group with the mayor.

He told The News: ‘I was there and I can tell you that there was nothing in any way inappropriate done by our new mayor.

‘I was there and I was not a witness to anything abusive.

‘All I enjoyed was a very pleasant evening celebrating with Wayne’s family.’

Cllr Dickson added he will be supporting Cllr Ronayne in his appeal against the ban.

As reported, the mayor is making an appeal to the Pub Watch committee over the ban.

Last night The News was unable to contact Cllr Ronayne, who had denied any wrongdoing.