Peter Thirlwall was unceremoniously ejected from Wednesdays Full Council Meeting.
His crime? Wanting the truth!
The question was ‘how had Councillor Sharman voted on the Local Development Framework (Incursion into the Greenbelt) at Cabinet?’.
Rotherham’s Labour Group, forewarned by Peter himself the previous month when he had asked, how Councillor Sharman, the Deputy Leader, voted on the Local Development Framework (Incursion into the Greenbelt) at a previous Cabinet meeting. The Leader had then promised a written answer that never materialised.
Unusually at the Council meeting there were laminated printouts of the disciplinary code for members reprinted from standing orders on the benches? Evidently Labour Group had prepared a plan!
Pity they didn’t provide the other procedural sections, because the meeting rapidly descended in to farce and became by all accounts increasingly bizarre as Labour Group put their previously prepared plan*** into action.
I will not burden you with the gory details, they are available below, but suffice it to say, procedurally correct it certainly was not. To read Peters own account click here.
The result of all this is that the ‘playground bullies’ in the Labour Group ended up with ‘egg on their faces’ and apparently guilty of concealment and obfuscation.
We know for certain that the Deputy Leader Terry Sharman has either given inaccurate information to the Council meeting or alternatively his incompetence was demonstrated if he genuinely could not remember being there or the business transacted. We also now know that Labour Group have no interest in the truth! This situation is a disgrace! Terry Sharman, remember him, the ‘Salvation Army’ councillor, clearly demonstrating that he is hypocritical enough to take part in these political games and is content at his inaccuracy! I do hope that he wont be one of Labour’s candidates in next years election, he is a Wingfield Ward councillor until next May.
Much Police time was wasted on this disgraceful little episode also, and I am left with the distinct feeling that Labour Group were acting like childish bullies more expected in a playground than in a Council Chamber conducting the peoples business!
Peter should be congratulated by all in Rotherham Borough who think that, we the people, have a simple ‘right to know’ the answer to Peter’s question and object strongly to this display of political bullying and thuggery!
I have little doubt that this matter will not be finished any time soon as, doubtless, Labour Group will have more unpleasant surprises for Peter.
Peter stood with the people of Rotherham, back in May. He bravely stood for honesty, accountability and openness, He supported us then and still does! It is now time to come together and for us to give Peter our support in return, we owe him much! It is time for us to return a little of that support to Peter.
*** I personally have much experience of this kind of thing.
I can remember an attempt to change minutes retrospectively that would have, had the meeting occurred in the way the new minutes indicated, provided prima facie evidence of illegal actions by those present. Labour members, not wishing for reality to intrude, carried on undeterred and approved them anyway!
This of course, goes some way in explaining why I now operate this blog as well as being a proud, staunch and committed member, of the Rotherham Independents.