RIOTING on the streets of Southampton resulted in the suspension of a Council meeting to set the poll tax.

The meeting, held on March 7, 1990, was halted after just seven minutes, with councillors battling to make themselves heard as protestors climbed through windows of the council chamber.

One man, who jumped from the balcony into the chamber, tried to grab the mace but was restrained by Tory councillors.

Inside the chamber, ticker tape rained down from the public gallery and campaigners yelled at the councillors below.

Desperate protesters climbed on to the roof of the building and scrambled in through the windows to the council chamber to be chased by police.

In the deafening noise, then-Mayor, Councillor Norman Best, said the meeting would be stopped for 20 minutes while police and Civic Centre staff tried to bring the situation under control.

At least eight people were arrested, but all were released without charge.

"They were arrested for a breach of the peace. They were detained, once the meeting was over there was no fear of them causing further problems and we released them," said a police spokesman at the time.

"They will not be charged."

Police reinforcements were called in from all over the city as ugly scenes erupted.

At the height of the the disturbance 56 police officers fought to keep back protesters.