The Bickerstaffe Record

Cotterill on the Council

Anti-democracy in action

02.24.11 | 4 Comments

1.  Yesterday for Full Council there was a Tory motion seeking to restrict the rights of journalists and members of the public to record Council meetings.

2.  Labour tabled an amendment to give recording, filming and photography rights to jouranlists and members of the public, in the spirit of open democracy and journalist rights.

3.  Yesterday also, the Tory government put out guidance to local authorities, clearly backing our pro-democracy position against the West Lancs Tories’ motion.  This was clearly embarassing for the Tories, but a problem of their own anti-democratic invention.

4. When the meeting came to that part of the agenda (item 21), the Mayor said it was late and that he was going to take one later item (23) and thenclose the meeting.

5.  Labour called a procedural vote, calling for all the items on the agenda to be discussed, as is our right under the Constitution.

6. After taking advice from the Council solicitor, the Mayor called for a vote on our amendment and Labour members voted for it.

7. Halfway through this properly called vote, the Tory leader rose and put an amendment to our procedural motion, calling for what the Mayor had wanted to do.

8.  The Mayor abandoned the vote in progress andtook the Tory amendment, which the  Tories (in majority) won.

9.  Item 23 was taken, and item 21 on recording of Council meetings and use of social media was bumped off the agenda to the April meeting.

 Utter, utter disgrace. 

What we witnessed was not democracy. It was an abuse of power.


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