I was in the public gallery at Long Eaton Town Hall last Thursday. I saw the most appalling behaviour by a number of Labour councillors, but especially by Cillr F. Phillips.
He had spent most of the time constantly interrupting the various speakers during the debate on the setting of the council tax for Erewash. A matter of great interest, I would have thought, to many residents of the borough.
It got to the stage that the mayor had to warn him repeatedly to be quiet and show respect to other councillors. We were then treated to him standing, shouting, and jabbing his finger towards the Conservative benches.
The mayor was forced to formally move that Cllr Phillips ‘no longer be heard’.
This is the final warning before a councillor is removed from the chamber and it was quickly seconded and the council voted in support of the mayor’s actions.
At that, Cllr F. Phillips gathered up his papers and started to walk out of the council chamber.
He looked around searching for support and was then joined by his own family, and a small number of mainly Ilkeston Labour councillors.
Fortunately for local democracy, half of the Labour councillors decided to stay for the rest of the meeting and so make contributions to the debates on behalf of their electors.
I don’t know if it runs in the family, but Cllr F. Phillips is the father of Cllr Alex Phillips of Hallam Fields ward. He is due to appear before a hearing of the Standards Committee on March 21 on a charge of failing to treat others with respect, in contravention of the borough council’s code of conduct, as a result of his behaviour at a council meeting last year.