Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Barred by Democratic Services from entry to Brent Council meeting

I am sorry to disappoint readers who were expecting a blow by blow account of the Annual Council Meeting tonight. Brent  Democratic Services refused me admission despite the Agenda clearly stating 'The press and public are welcome to attend this meeting'.

I was told that I could only attend by invitation and the the meeting was mainly ceremonial.  I pointed out the wording on the agenda and that  Item 5 involved changes to the constitution which affected petitions.  I also wanted to observe the vote for the new leader. I was told there wouldn't be debate on the constitutional amendment  but  if space was found I might be let in.  However the Democratic Services Officer concerned never returned to the lobby and security were not letting anyone through.

The Council were clearly expecting trouble and I heard the Democratic Services Officerr briefing the police that disruption was expected over the the vote for the new leader. Half a dozen police and about the same number of PCSOs  were present as well as AA security.

I retired to the Torch with friends and enjoyed a pint of delicious Doom Bar bitter from Cornwall which was probably more pleasurable.

On the way home I bumped into Cllr Michael Pavey, my opponent in the Barnhill by-election, who admitted that being barred by Democratic Services from watching democracy in action was 'a bit ironic'.

He told me that everything had gone through smoothly except for a spat about political representation on Brent Housing Partnership.

No a new dawn for democracy in Brent...


The Local Don. said...

When they start refusing you entry into a public meeting you're doing something right Martin.

The Local Don.

Martin Francis said...

I have received this reply in response to my complaint from Peter Goss of Democratic Services:

I understand you attended the Town Hall with two other people in the hope that you could attend the Annual Meeting of the Council. It was explained to you that entrance to the meeting was on this occasion by ticket only. The meetings taking place on the night were a special meeting of the Council at 6:30pm and the Annual meeting of the Council, in the middle of which was the presentation of the Brent Community Champion awards. Whilst it is stated that the press and public are welcome as they are for most meetings, this is always with the caveat of space permitting. Because of the nature of the evening and the tradition behind the Annual meeting the numbers attending have to be controlled and this is done by issuing tickets.

I'm sorry if you and your companions had a wasted journey. If you had let me know you wanted to attend I might have been able to make arrangements.

Anonymous said...

There was loads of extra space. Thats untrue

Anonymous said...

The Council appear to think they're running a private members club where "numbers attending have to be controlled"

How did members of the public apply for these tickets?

The Local Don.