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

Heated moment at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018.  This protestor was removed from the council chamber. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

Heated moment at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. This protestor was removed from the council chamber. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

HARRY RUTTER

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.

yes, that's right, this is the exit: Heated moment as protestor is asked to leave  Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTERyes, that's right, this is the exit: Heated moment as protestor is asked to leave Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

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.

Meeting at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTERMeeting at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

“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.”

Sue Marshall who presented a petition on proposed new charges for clinical waste collection to a meeting at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTERSue Marshall who presented a petition on proposed new charges for clinical waste collection to a meeting at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

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.

Cllr Virginia Bucknor addressing a meeting of Fenland Council at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTERCllr Virginia Bucknor addressing a meeting of Fenland Council at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

“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.

Wisbech Conservatives at Fenland Hall meeting. From left: Cllr Sam Hoy, Cllr Steve Tierney and Cllr Garry Tibbs Meeting at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTERWisbech Conservatives at Fenland Hall meeting. From left: Cllr Sam Hoy, Cllr Steve Tierney and Cllr Garry Tibbs Meeting at Fenland Hall on Thursday, September 13 2018. Picture: HARRY RUTTER

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.”

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