A FORMER chair of Wychavon District Council was left red faced after an impromptu burst of foul language during a live-streamed planning meeting.

Seemingly exasperated Conservative Councillor Frances Smith blurted out the expletive as planning committee chair Councillor David Wilkinson invited Green Party Councillor Ed Cohen to speak.

There was little reaction from the rest of the participants with Cllr Cohen stating he did not hear the remark at the time but that it had since come to his attention.

Cllr Smith, chair of Wychavon’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee who represents Little Hampton, offered no comment when approached by Evesham Journal but said the matter had been addressed with chief executive Vic Allison and leader Cllr Bradley Thomas.

Cllr Cohen, who represents Evesham South, was quick to make clear he did not believe the comment had been directed at him, more the length of the meeting but explained councillors are asked to mute themselves while not speaking.

“I didn’t hear it at the time,” he said.

“It is not the kind of comment we should be hearing on the channel, people should be muted while they are not speaking. It is requested as part of the protocol.

“I think it was to do with the length of the meeting. We have done things to try to reduce the length of the meetings, including notifications of interest in matters prior to them taking place but that only takes a few minutes out of the event.

“We have also agreed that if there are more than a certain number of items on the agenda then we will split them. They are long meetings but that is down to having so many items on the agenda.

“I have known Councillor Smith for a long time, as councillors we have pretty good relationships.”

Asked whether Cllr Smith had been in touch with an explanation, Cllr Cohen politely declined to comment.

Cllr Thomas said: “It is a regrettable incident and an apology has been received from Councillor Smith to myself and the chief executive.”

A spokesperson for Wychavon District Council confirmed an apology from Cllr Smith had been received and that "no further action" would be taken.

"That is the end of the matter as far as we are concerned, she has assured us it will not happen again," he said.