The silencing of Cllr Frank Phillips at last Thursday’s full council meeting did nothing for local democracy in Erewash.
Cllr Phillips was prevented from putting his point of view at the meeting which took place at Long Eaton Town Hall under procedural rule 21.3.
This rule facilitates that a member not be heard further.
A problem arose when Cllr Alex Phillips wished to speak on a minute which was opened up for debate by another member.
He indicated his intention to speak to the mayor who appeared to indicate back to him that he would be called as the next speaker.
However, this did not happen and the mayor moved on to the next business.
Cllr Frank Phillips then intervened to protest, at which point the mayor stopped his protest by implementing procedural rule 21.3.
I have to say that in this instance the Mayor Cllr Kevin Miller was wrong.
Some years ago I was in a similar situation.
I was told I was not allowed to speak on a minute that again had been opened up for debate by another member.
I protested that this was stifling spontaneous debate.
The Mayor who at the time was Cllr Mike Wallis listened to my argument and after some short deliberation allowed me to continue.
From that point on spontaneous debate was adopted as normal procedure at full council meetings.
Cllr Frank Phillips has been dealt an injustice and the right thing to do would be for Cllr Kevin Miller to apologise to him.
Cllr John Frudd