Council boss 'held lockdown meetings in hot tub then harassed neighbour who called police’

·Freelance Writer
·2-min read
Neighbours of Nottinghamshire councillor Tom Hollis (pictured) called police and claimed he was holding meetings in his hot tub during lockdown. (Reach)
Neighbours of Nottinghamshire councillor Tom Hollis called police and claimed he was holding meetings in his hot tub during lockdown. (Reach)

A councillor became embroiled in a bitter dispute with his neighbours after it was claimed he was holding council meetings in his hot tub during lockdown, a court has heard.

Tom Hollis, deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, is alleged to have harassed Shannon Jones-Golding and partner Luke Golding in May 2020, after they told police that Hollis was blaring music and holding the meetings while England was two months into the first coronavirus lockdown.

Mrs Jones-Golding alleged that the meetings were held from morning to evening and she made what she thought was an anonymous 101 call to see “if this was allowed”, Nottingham Magistrates’ Court heard.

She told the trial that she was concerned about children in Hollis’ neighbouring home in Windmill Close, Sutton-in-Ashfield, being in close contact to her newborn daughter through their six-foot high fence.

Tom Hollis was allegedly holding council meetings in the hot tub of his home at Windmill Close, Sutton-in-Ashfield. (Reach)
Tom Hollis was allegedly holding council meetings in the hot tub of his home at Windmill Close, Sutton-in-Ashfield. (Reach)

Mrs Jones-Golding said: "I wanted to know what the measures were and if Mr Hollis should have actually been doing what he was doing.”

But after police told Mrs Jones-Golding that Hollis was a key worker and “hadn’t done anything wrong”, she claims Hollis confronted her about calling the police.

Hollis is alleged to have flung open the French doors of his home and dragged his coffee table to a fence and abruptly 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. I know it was you.”

Tom Hollis denies two counts of harassment without violence. (Reach)
Tom Hollis denies two counts of harassment without violence. (Reach)

Mrs Jones-Golding said she felt worried and "a bit frightened” as Hollis “was quite loud in his tone of voice”.

She claimed that Hollis told her he knew the rules and "he made the rules", and he wasn't doing anything wrong, and "I was going to be done for harassment of a key worker”.

The prosecutor told the trial that the case is a mixture of slightly obnoxious, aggressive communications via email or letter by the defendant using his position as deputy leader of Ashfield District Council, which they claim amounts to bullying.

A general view of Nottingham Magistrates' Court.
The trial is being held at Nottingham Magistrates’ Court. (PA)

Hollis is also claimed to have falsely told police Mr Golding was chasing him with a knife in an attempt to get him arrested.

However, another neighbour filmed the alleged ruse and police did not pursue the “false complaint”, the prosecution said.

Hollis denies two counts of harassment without violence and the trial continues.