I won't be bullied by Labour council

I won't be bullied by Labour council

By Peter Thirlwall | 17/12/2010 0 comments

I won't be bullied by Labour council

Sir—In response to the brief article with the sensational headline “Thirlwall thrown out of the council chamber” (see Advertiser, December 10) I would like to set the record straight.

At the previous council meeting, on October 27, at which Cllr Terry Sharman was absent, I asked the leader of the council how Cllr Sharman had voted in cabinet on the Local Development Framework (incursion into the green belt).

The leader refused to answer the question and said that he would respond to me in writing.

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As no such response was received, I asked Cllr Sharman, at the council meeting on December 8, how he had voted at the recent Cabinet meeting? He answered that he was in hospital at the time and did not attend cabinet on that day.

While the council meeting was going on I checked the minutes of the cabinet meeting and found that the answer I was given was not the truth and that Cllr Sharman had, in fact, attended the meeting.

I raised a point of order with the Mayor, pointing out the inaccuracy and asked for an accurate answer.

The Mayor told me that “I had had an answer” (now obviously wrong) and because I kept pressing for the truth, which the leader and Cllr Sharman did not want to give me, the leader moved that I “no longer be heard.” All Labour Group members voted in favour.

The Mayor then, in breach of standing orders, immediately moved that I be ordered to leave the meeting. Again all Labour Group members voted in favour.

In view of the fact that the Labour Group have never abided by standing orders and seem to want to cherry pick the ones that suit them and interpret them in imaginative ways when it suits them, I refused to leave.

The chief executive told me that, if I refused to leave, he would fetch the police. I told him that if the police asked me to leave I was prepared to do so but I would not be bullied by the Labour Group into doing so. 

This was a flagrant abuse of the chief executive’s influence by involving the police and putting them in an invidious position in a civil matter that had nothing to do with them.

When the police arrived and asked me to leave I did so.

I am 65 years of age and have never allowed myself to be bullied and I don’t propose to start now.

The Labour Group believes that, because they have an overwhelming majority on the council, they can do as they please regardless of the rules, rules that they themselves made but are not prepared to abide by.

I try to show them just how fundamentally unfair and undemocratic they are.
The people of Rotherham have been lied to, Labour councillors know this, but nevertheless allowed a frank abuse of power to silence me and to keep the actual truth from us.

A democratic outrage if ever there was one!
Cllr Peter Thirlwall, Pinchwell View, Wickersley, Rotherham.


Thirlwall thrown out of council meeting: Original story.


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