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Greens and Labour show ‘lack of respect’ to public over shambolic vote


Conservatives have expressed their anger at Green and Labour councillors for voting to terminate a very important meeting of Full Council with less then half of the business of the meeting completed.

Amongst the items that were then voted through on the nod without debate were a crucial report on providing much needed additional primary and secondary school places in the city and a report on the closure of two homes for residents with learning disabilities. The Green Administration had been strongly criticised by residents during the meeting on a range of issues, most notably, their decision to scrap the 52 bus route from Woodingdean and Ovingdean to the city centre. It became clear as the meeting continued, that Green spokespersons were employing filibustering tactics – giving long, rambling and largely irrelevant answers to residents’ and opposition councillors’ deputations and questions. A vote was taken to terminate the meeting very early which Green and Labour councillors eagerly supported. All Conservative members voted against this unusually early closure.

Conservative Group Leader – Cllr. Geoffrey Theobald – said: “Members of the public who attended and those watching the webcast would, I am sure, agree with me that the meeting last night was a complete shambles and brought the City Council into disrepute. The Green Administration councillors are being paid good money to run the Council and part and parcel of that is taking often difficult decisions that will affect many people in this city. They are clearly struggling to master their briefs and to cut off a meeting with less than half of the business completed, simply because they were being given a rocky ride by residents and opposition councillors, is just not acceptable. However, I have to say that I am particularly disappointed with the Labour Group who decided, for reasons best known to them, to go along with the Greens. We are fortunate enough to be elected by residents to serve them and this decision by the Greens and Labour, in my view, shows a complete lack of respect. Indeed, two members of the public had waited patiently to hear the debate on learning disability care homes and were quite rightly furious when the meeting was cut short. I think that the members who voted to stop the meeting early should reflect very carefully about what they have done. A Conservative-led authority would certainly not be run in this manner.”