THE mayor of Ruthin has been forced to defend himself after he was accused of flouting social distancing rules at a street party.

Cllr Gavin Harris received some backlash after attending a party on Record Street, held opposite a police station.

A reader, who wishes to remain anonymous, told the Free Press the party 'did not observe social distancing and raised a lot of local anger'.

They added: "There is a grave concern if Mr Gavin Harris's intention to host one of these parties in 'each estate' in Ruthin is executed if will have a negative impact on the effort to stop the spread of this killer disease.

"The town mayor thanked a number of people on Facebook 'Fans of Ruthin' page for helping to organise the party which was met with public resistance.

"The evidence has since been removed from Facebook, fortunately many people took screen shots.

"We hope local Mr Harris and Ruthin Town Council will act more appropriately in future."

Responding to the claims, Mr Harris said that, although he did take part in and praised the gathering, social distancing was observed and that 'camera angles' of photos sent into the Denbighshire Free Press made it look as though it wasn't.

Mr Harris added: " The party was organised by our neighbours and we joined them on Record Street, where our property is, opposite the police station.

"Every property was socially distanced with probably around five-metres between each household who sat outside their own home with their own table and so on.

"It was to mark a 50th birthday.

"On a number of occasions, police officers arriving and departing the station joined in with activities, such as a quiz, and they were entirely satisfied with the socially distanced set up.

"The street includes a GP as well as a nurse, and a number of elderly single household residents who were uplifted by the community street event, which no doubt benefited their mental well-being.

"Unfortunately due to camera angles, people look closer than they were.

"We even had a 2.4m bamboo cane with balloons to keep everyone separate."

Mr Harris also sent in this video above to the Denbighshire Free Press to back up his claims.

He said: "The video shows how these camera angles can deceive and how far apart people actually were at the party."

Mr Harris was re-appointed Ruthin Mayor in May 2019, having previously served in the role 10 years earlier. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, he is now splitting the rolw with the next Town Mayor, with both of them serving 18 months each.