Lymington residents 'banned' from asking questions at council meetings

Lymington from above

Lymington from above

First published in News Daily Echo: Photograph of the Author by

RESIDENTS will be banned from asking questions at council committee meetings because of the “disarray” that has often broken out in the past.

Council chiefs in Lymington have been accused of “ostracising” the community after revealing they are imposing the strict new rules.

Campaigners will still be able to raise issues at the start of every meeting. But questions will only be allowed at sessions of the full council – and only if the queries have been submitted two days earlier.

Meetings of Lymington and Pennington Town Council and its committees have often been marred by blazing rows between members and people taking part in public participation periods.

But the new policy came under fire from members of the Liberal Democrat opposition group.

Ted Jearrad, who accused committee chairmen of behaving “appallingly” to members of the public, said: “It’s a horrendous compilation of rules and regulations. It would appear that the public are not wanted here. We are ostracising them and their enquiries.”

Cllr Brenda Vincent added: “Most people are very polite and only want an answer – although I don’t often hear any answers given.”

But the deputy mayor, Cllr Michael White, said members had endured a torrent of abuse from one of the residents who attended a recent meeting.

He added that another member of the public had made “rude and unpleasant” remarks about someone employed by the authority.

Cllr John Olliff-Cooper, chairman of the amenities committee, voiced similar views. He said: “A woman who came to speak at one of our meetings was so upset by the level of vitriol from other members of the public that she left.”

A report to councillors claimed the authority needed to introduce a more orderly way of conducting public participation sessions.

The report said the public could still address the council or its committees, but could only ask questions at meetings of the full council, which was the decision-making body.

It added that questions should be submitted to the town clerk, enabling the authority to prepare a “proper response”.

The mayor, Cllr Anna Rostand, said: “We welcome constructive contributions but we must have parameters. Things get a bit crazy from time to time.”

Comments (9)

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10:38am Thu 13 Mar 14

southy says...

They are scared of the public from having there say in matters, the council is forgetting that they represent those people
They are scared of the public from having there say in matters, the council is forgetting that they represent those people southy
  • Score: 3

11:56am Thu 13 Mar 14

Shoong says...

southy wrote:
They are scared of the public from having there say in matters, the council is forgetting that they represent those people
'“A woman who came to speak at one of our meetings was so upset by the level of vitriol from other members of the public that she left.”

When it gets to this point, then you need to do something about it. If the public were able to use these meetings constructively then these measures would not have been needed. Obviously from your point of view, you only want the issues raised which suit your agenda.

The lady in question looks like she was in the minority. Shouldn't you be sticking up for people like this?
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: They are scared of the public from having there say in matters, the council is forgetting that they represent those people[/p][/quote]'“A woman who came to speak at one of our meetings was so upset by the level of vitriol from other members of the public that she left.” When it gets to this point, then you need to do something about it. If the public were able to use these meetings constructively then these measures would not have been needed. Obviously from your point of view, you only want the issues raised which suit your agenda. The lady in question looks like she was in the minority. Shouldn't you be sticking up for people like this? Shoong
  • Score: 6

12:12pm Thu 13 Mar 14

eurogordi says...

What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me!
What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me! eurogordi
  • Score: 4

1:33pm Thu 13 Mar 14

beiroot says...

eurogordi wrote:
What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me!
Let's face facts, we are not a Democracy! Even your local MP has no clout in Parliament unless they are one of the senior cabinet ministers.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me![/p][/quote]Let's face facts, we are not a Democracy! Even your local MP has no clout in Parliament unless they are one of the senior cabinet ministers. beiroot
  • Score: 2

1:34pm Thu 13 Mar 14

The Wickham Man says...

eurogordi wrote:
What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me!
It isn't. This is a direct result of the rude and abusive behaviour of the kind of stubborn single minded often retired idiots with too much time on their hands who form themselves into "action groups" to violently oppose something they don't agree with, and they are totally opposed to any further discussion or dialogue. They are always ready to produce typically predictable and abusive accusations against anyone daring to continue a debate or discussion. They will accuse anyone who tells them to behave of being corrupt, or in the pocket of big business, or in league with x, y, or z (delete where applicable). These idiots destroy democaracy by their intransigience and if I had my way whenever these elderly nimby morons disrupt civilised discussion I'd drop a tin bucket on their head and whack it with a spade.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me![/p][/quote]It isn't. This is a direct result of the rude and abusive behaviour of the kind of stubborn single minded often retired idiots with too much time on their hands who form themselves into "action groups" to violently oppose something they don't agree with, and they are totally opposed to any further discussion or dialogue. They are always ready to produce typically predictable and abusive accusations against anyone daring to continue a debate or discussion. They will accuse anyone who tells them to behave of being corrupt, or in the pocket of big business, or in league with x, y, or z (delete where applicable). These idiots destroy democaracy by their intransigience and if I had my way whenever these elderly nimby morons disrupt civilised discussion I'd drop a tin bucket on their head and whack it with a spade. The Wickham Man
  • Score: 5

1:34pm Thu 13 Mar 14

NewForestStu says...

Lymington i'm afraid is run by the likes of the RLYC, Lymington Society and Masonic Hall (much i suppose similar to big businesses running the country).
Lymington i'm afraid is run by the likes of the RLYC, Lymington Society and Masonic Hall (much i suppose similar to big businesses running the country). NewForestStu
  • Score: 5

1:58pm Thu 13 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

southy wrote:
They are scared of the public from having there say in matters, the council is forgetting that they represent those people
Read the story, don't just scan the headlines looking for opportunities to express your generic "we the people" outrage.
[quote][p][bold]southy[/bold] wrote: They are scared of the public from having there say in matters, the council is forgetting that they represent those people[/p][/quote]Read the story, don't just scan the headlines looking for opportunities to express your generic "we the people" outrage. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 0

1:59pm Thu 13 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

beiroot wrote:
eurogordi wrote:
What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me!
Let's face facts, we are not a Democracy! Even your local MP has no clout in Parliament unless they are one of the senior cabinet ministers.
Let's face facts, democracy does not mean the entire population as individuals gets to have a say on every last issue. This is why we elect representatives.
[quote][p][bold]beiroot[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me![/p][/quote]Let's face facts, we are not a Democracy! Even your local MP has no clout in Parliament unless they are one of the senior cabinet ministers.[/p][/quote]Let's face facts, democracy does not mean the entire population as individuals gets to have a say on every last issue. This is why we elect representatives. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 3

2:03pm Thu 13 Mar 14

gilbertratchet says...

eurogordi wrote:
What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me!
I think people living in an actual dictatorship might take issue with you using that word to describe a situation where supposedly grown adults have to be told to stop being rowdy idiots.
[quote][p][bold]eurogordi[/bold] wrote: What happened to good old fashioned democracy and public debate? Sounds more like a dictatorship on the part of Lymington Town Council to me![/p][/quote]I think people living in an actual dictatorship might take issue with you using that word to describe a situation where supposedly grown adults have to be told to stop being rowdy idiots. gilbertratchet
  • Score: 1

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