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Tweet turns council meeting into chaos
11:00am Saturday 28th September 2013 in News
A FULL council meeting descended into farce after a spat broke out between rival politicians over a tweet before the chairman walked out on proceedings for an hour to allow them time to cool off.
Members of the public, sitting in the gallery began shouting “what are we paying our taxes for?” after the Labour and Conservative groups threw heated political jibes at one another before the chairman, Mayor Nick Martin, walked out of the meeting and adjourned it for nearly an hour.
The row began after the Labour councillors had to exit the meeting after they declared an interest in the motion debating Ed Milliband’s reforms of the trade unions.
Upon their return Labour councillor Kevin Small called a point of order and asked for the authority’s solicitor to investigate the tweet which he claimed misled the public, making it appear that they did not want to be a part of the debate.
“He is misleading the public, we had to leave as a point of law, we had no option but to walk out,” Coun Small told the meeting on Thursday night.
”I want the borough’s solicitor to investigate it, it’s a disgrace.”
Coun Martin then appealed for Coun Small to sit down and tried to carry on the meeting but Coun Small felt the matter should be dealt with.
Coun Martin asked him to leave the room which he refused to do, leading to the chair adjourning the proceedings.
Coun Heenan said it was a matter of fact the Labour had walked out and then later tweeted the councillors had declared an interest before walking out.
“It’s farcical,” said Brian Cockbill, of Stratton St Margaret who has been attending council meetings for years.
“I’ve never been to a meeting where the chairman refused to take a point of order which he refused tonight.”
“It’s disgraceful,” said Richard Symons 62, of The Bramptons, who films the meetings.
“These people use our tax money just to sit there and make political digs at each other.”
Independent councillor Rochelle Russell said: “This is not what I’m here for; I’m not for putting other members down. “I’ve come here to serve the public.”
A meeting between the two groups’ leaders and the chief executive of the council, Gavin Jones, will take place to discuss the dispute.
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