SILLOTH Town Council will not apologise to a local tourism group after one of its members suggested it had been affected by a “misappropriation” of funds.

After the claim was formally refuted by Cumbria Police, the town council’s chairman Mark Orchard said he hoped a line could now finally be drawn under the issue.

Former Silloth town councillor Owen Martin had demanded an apology after Councillor Jim Snaith suggested there had been a “misappropriation of funds” involving Silloth Tourism Action Group (STAG).

He claimed Cumbria Police had expressed the view that the allegations were well-founded and an investigation was under way.

But Mr Martin - now an Allerdale councillor - said an apology was warranted because Silloth Town Council had, he suggested, sanctioned what Councillor Snaith had done and it amounted to a ‘malicious pursuit’ of STAG.

But a meeting of the town council heard that the police have refuted Mr Snaith’s claim that there was a case against STAG. Nor had the town council endorsed his decision to go to the police, the meeting heard.

In the light of this, there would be no apology.

Official minutes of the meeting stated: “The chairman spoke to Councillor Cook and Mr Martin on the phone prior to the meeting to say the Council would not be issuing an apology to STAG, as the council has not pursued this.

“Councillor Cook had accepted it over the phone but the chairman asked for it to be confirmed in the meeting by both Councillor Cook and Mr Martin that they there would be no apology from the town council.”

The minutes noted Councillor Cook called for Councillor Snaith to stand down from his council role.

The minutes added: “Town councillors are volunteers and do a lot for this town and it is unfair to expect them to apologise to STAG which was accepted by Councillor Cook, who is also chair of STAG.”

After the meeting, Mr Orchard said he hoped the council could now move on from the row.

Of STAG’s finances, he said: “I’ve seen the accounts and I can see nothing wrong with them.” He said the most important thing was that Councillor Cook and accepted that Silloth Town Council did not owe an apology to STAG

The meeting minutes also noted that some members questioned whether Mr Martin could refrain from going onto social media with constant attacks on the town council.

But Mr Martin said he would not stop using social media and that he had done nothing wrong. If any person had a complaint they could contact Allerdale Council, he said. Cumbria Police has confirmed no crime had been logged concerning STAG.