Meeting rules not followed

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Sir,

At the last council meeting (Thursday March 8) I saw one of the most partisan examples of chairmanship from any mayor in this borough since the poll tax debate.

It was quite clear from the start of this meeting that the mayor was not going to allow any proper debate on the budget.

Members seemed to be placed in two time zones.

One for the Labour members where five minutes allowed for speeches lasted just three minutes or less, and a Conservative time zone where members were allowed to speak as long as they wanted.

This partisan attitude continued with the mayor and leader of the council interrupting Labour members when they were trying to speak.

Protests from me and other Labour members about the mayor’s wrong use of procedure and failure to abide by the constitution earned me a reprimand and a motion ‘that I no longer be heard’.

Even this constitutional procedure was done wrongly and I had to correct the mayor and point out correct procedure.

Being no longer able to speak I left the meeting and I am pleased to say I was joined by a number of my Labour colleagues.

Residents of Hedingham Close might not be surprised that the subject under discussion at the point I was refused permission to speak any longer was the Aligned Core Strategy and the murky and shameful way in which the Manners Floods and Quarry Hill Road came to be chosen as housing land.

Cllr Frank Phillips

Ilkeston central ward