LAMBETH COUNCIL SET TO CRACK DOWN ON DISSENT AT MEETINGS
Lambeth council are set to crack down on dissent at council and committee meetings – amid rumours there will be a limit on the number of people being allowed to attend them.
Asked if only four people would be admitted to committee meetings in future Lambeth council told News From Crystal Palace that: “The four person limit suggestion is not accurate.”
In response to a later question about limiting numbers a council spokesman told News From Crystal Palace: “As you know meetings are being held at various locations, with various capacities so there is no number.
“I think all we can say on this is the issues are being looked into:
“Lambeth’s Democratic Services team will review arrangements for public council meetings in future, which are currently being held in various locations across the borough as the Town Hall is closed for refurbishment. “Police will be consulted.”
THE LAMBETH COUNCIL STATEMENT……
Following several incidents of disruptive, abusive and intimidating behaviour at public council meetings, Lambeth council is reviewing how to manage access and security.
During the latest incident, councillors and council officers faced aggression from a small number of protestors not only during the meeting but as they left and on their journeys home. One planning officer was followed onto a bus, heckled and subsequently had to disembark and get a taxi home.
In May a full council meeting had to be abandoned after repeated shouting and aggressive behaviour prohibited any meaningful discussion.
There have been incidents of glitter being thrown directly into a council officer’s face, plastic eyes being thrown at councillors with intimidating chants of ‘we’re watching you’ and repeated abusive and threatening language.
Police have had to attend council meetings for the safety of all those present, due to the unacceptable behaviour of a small hardcore group.
The vast majority of attendees to council meetings held in public engage productively and respect acceptable standards of behaviour.
For example, during the recent planning committee meeting to decide an application relating to Brixton Arches, which received much media attention, local business representatives from the arches listened and contributed to the discussion productively and peacefully.
However a small group of people stood on chairs, shouted, threatened and intimidated officers and councillors, forcing police to intervene.
It is many of the same group that has repeatedly sought to disrupt full council and cabinet meetings and planning and licensing committees in recent months.
Leader of Lambeth Council, Lib Peck, said: “It is a very sad state of affairs when public servants are abused simply for doing their job.
“Lambeth is a borough with very strong communities, huge diversity and a high level of political engagement, that is one of the things that makes Lambeth such a special place. Most people coming to public meetings do so to engage and debate peacefully.
“However a small hardcore mob seem intent on disruptive, aggressive behaviour and it simply will not be tolerated.”
Lambeth’s Democratic Services team will review arrangements for public council meetings in future, which are currently being held in various locations across the borough as the Town Hall is closed for refurbishment. Police will be consulted.
(Conspiracy theorists should note that News From Crystal Palace received this press release from a third party. Because it had not appeared on the lambeth.gov press releases website we checked, and confirmed, its authenticity with Lambeth council. At 10.55 Saturday morning this press release is still not on Lambeth.gov press releases website…………Editor.)