Rotherham Politics readers like thought puzzles, they perhaps don’t come more interesting than this particular piece of the employment of incorrect facts to justify the unjustifiable.
Below is the correspondence between Martin Kimber and Peter Thirlwall following Peters withdrawal from the Council meeting of 16th April. They appear in date order. There is some bureaucratic, lawyerly, ‘swerve ball’ going on here, can readers identify the flaws in Kimber’s argument?
The Chief Executive,
Rotherham Borough Council.
Rotherham Town Hall
I am in receipt of your letter dated 8th May 2014.
I am surprised that, as the Chief Executive, you do not seem to understand the concept of ‘Innocent until proven guilty’. I am also dismayed at your failure to follow due process.
I have neither been charged nor found guilty of any offence and in fact, following an investigation by the police it was found that there was no case to answer regarding the incident at the above.
You surely must be aware that under the 1972 Local Government Act (as amended) Council Meetings must be open to the public (1) (2) and you do not have the power to exclude members of the public from public meetings. (3)
Even if you were to exclude a member of the public from a meeting, for an exceptional reason, that exclusion may not operate beyond that particular meeting. (4)(5)
In view of the above could you please clarify the legal basis upon which you intend to rely to prohibit my admission to the Town Hall for an indeterminate period?
In the absence of such clarification I will assume that you accept that you have been over zealous in attempting to ban me from the Town Hall, that I am entitled to attend future meetings and that no attempt will be made to prevent my attendance at any public meetings.
Could you also clarify the powers you seem to have assumed over the police in stating that ‘That the Police will be called to secure my removal should I attempt to enter the Town Hall’?
Incidentally I was not removed from the Town Hall in November 2010. I left of my own accord and it is not appropriate for you to refer to this in your letter of the 8th May.