The ‘F’ word brings about swift exit of protestor from council chamber at Fenland Hall during debate over clinical waste charge petition
PUBLISHED: 13:13 14 September 2018
Four letter words peppered the air as uproar erupted at a Fenland Council meeting last night that only ended when a protestor was removed from the council chamber.
Councillors were discussing a petition against the introduction of an £8 charge for the collection of clinical waste and sharps boxes in Fenland.
The man, who was sat in the public gallery to the left of Councillor Kit Owen, made the remarks followed by a barrage of bad language, as an agenda item about charges to clinical waste was discussed.
The debate – which lasted for around 45 minutes – saw a petition of more than 800 signatures presented to the council against the introduction the charge.
Councillors decided that if the NHS is to bring in the charges next year, then the matter would be brought back to full council to see if “alternative options” could be considered.
“Shame on you,” the man shouted.
“It’s alright for all you lot with your gold watches; you’re not in our position, why don’t you stop claiming expenses to save money.”
Cllr Steve Tierney responded: “I don’t claim expenses sir.”
Fenland District Council chairman, Cllr Kay Mayor, told the proteestor: “You will have to leave if you do not be quiet sir.”
The man left his seat, along with petition speaker Sue Marshall, before shouting obscenities across the room and while walking out of the council chamber.
The row continued on social media into the night after Wisbech Conservatives posted on their Facebook page “Left wing activists shout and swear at Fenland Council meeting and make threats - forcing their ejection from the meeting. Same old nasty left”.
But Sue Marshall, who presented the petition to the council, was angry that she had been grouped into the criticism on the Facebook page.
“I demand a complete withdrawal of these accusations and a full and unreserved apology in the public domain,” she said.
“I did not shout, swear or threaten. I am not a Labour activist.”
Wisbech Conservatives later responded to Sue Marshall with the comment that “I haven’t yet had confirmation about your status. Because of this and in the interests of fairness I have removed reference to the Labour Party”.
Cllr Virginia Bucknor claimed “the meeting was not disrupted – this is just the usual spin” while Wisbech Conservatives were determined to have the final word.
“You don’t think someone threatening councillors and shouting the f word is disruptive?? Wow”, they posted.
However the concluding words went to another poster who wrote: “Looks like CCTV will need to be used at meetings. I’m sure there would be no further ‘arguments’ then.”