A TOWN councillor has raised concerns about personal safety at weekly surgeries.

Ross-on-Wye Town Council holds a surgery each Saturday between 10am and 11am at Ross Library in Cantilupe Road.

Councillors take it in turns to hold the surgeries, where members of the public can discuss any concerns they may have.

Cllr Phil Cutter told a town council meeting he would not be doing any more surgeries due to safety fears following an "unfortunate experience" last week.

He said: "I am pretty used to dealing with the general public in my job as a councillor over the years. I have had no real problem most of the time.

"Last week I had a very difficult person. Before I even got in there the comment I had was, 'You're completely useless.'"

He added: "I don't feel a councillor should be there on their own whether they are a man, woman or whatever. To my way of thinking it is very unsafe.

"I felt I wasn't in a position to deal with this. My expertise was not in that field. They had mental health problems. I haven't got that expertise. I rang another councillor to get some advice but by the time I had done that the person had decided to leave."

Cllr Cutter said his problem was that he couldn't do anything to help this person.

He also said that not many members of the public attend the surgeries.

Nigel Gibbs, chairman of the town council, said there have been several occasions where town councillors failed to appear for their slot.

He added: "I would say that I have attended four or five and I have seen one person in that time who has actually come to see me. I question the need for a weekly surgery."

Cllr Daniel Lister said he had mistakenly missed one of the surgeries. But he said that members of the public appear to appreciate the surgeries and he thinks it is important to carry them on.

A rota has been drawn up to the end of the calendar year. The matter has been referred to policy and management committee for further investigation as to whether the surgeries should continue.