Police were dealing with drink driver, ASB and domestic assault when Warrington Town Hall called

Clr Kevin Bennett

Clr Kevin Bennett

First published in News

COUNCILLORS have slammed the decision to call police to a Town Hall council meeting last year after a copy of the log has revealed the other incidents officers could have been attending at the same time.

Police were called in December last year to a full council meeting by Mayor Peter Carey after Clr Kevin Bennett (LAB - Fairfield and Howley) refused to leave during an hour-long stand-off.

A Warrington Guardian Freedom of Information request found while officers dealt with the squabble, police were also called to four incidents of anti-social behaviour, one domestic incident, one theft and arrested a man on Chester Road for drink driving.

Clr Kevin Bennett (Fairfield and Howley - LAB) said: “I think the public have a right to know that by using the police to stop an elected member from using his constitutional right to speak is disgraceful and could have serious consequences for the public.

“The police are better utilised by being out on the streets and not at the Town Hall where there was no threat to anyone.”

Clr Ian Marks said the incident was ‘most unfortunate’ and agreed nobody could dispute it was ‘not the best use of police time’.

He added: “It certainly can’t have done the council any good in the eyes of the public as the whole episode does not show councillors in a good light.

“It’s in the past now and I hope we won’t be seeing an incident of this kind again.”

Councillors said the meeting in December was already heated after a question from Clr Bennett had been withdrawn before a previous meeting.

After making what was described by fellow councillors as a ‘serious allegation which caused uproar in the chamber’, Clr Bennett was told to leave the meeting but refused to do so.

Clr Bob Barr (Lymm - LD) said the ‘knee-jerk reaction’ calling the police showed ‘how deep the divisions in the Labour group were’.

He added: “So far as I am concerned the incident was due to a break down of discipline in the Labour Group and an over-reaction by the Mayor at the time.

“I believe that this (calling the police) was the wrong decision as the matter should have been dealt with internally.

“Since the national Labour Party was called in to intervene and discipline the local party, behaviour in the Labour Group has improved, but one must wonder whether they are fit to lead the town while such dissent continues.”

Comments (9)

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9:20am Thu 14 Aug 14

grey_man says...

We are led by a council that withholds facts from voters until after elections and uses the local police as a way of stifling things it doesn't like said.

Then again we have Bob Barr who is on his high horse, yet presided over a department that broke the law and covered it up then held an interview with a magazine in which the biggest problem was apparently the local people who didn't want the council breaking the law.
We are led by a council that withholds facts from voters until after elections and uses the local police as a way of stifling things it doesn't like said. Then again we have Bob Barr who is on his high horse, yet presided over a department that broke the law and covered it up then held an interview with a magazine in which the biggest problem was apparently the local people who didn't want the council breaking the law. grey_man
  • Score: 6

9:39am Thu 14 Aug 14

Brian_Giles says...

I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?
I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian? Brian_Giles
  • Score: 3

9:50am Thu 14 Aug 14

Out of Warrington says...

Brian_Giles wrote:
I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?
Spot on Brian
[quote][p][bold]Brian_Giles[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?[/p][/quote]Spot on Brian Out of Warrington
  • Score: -3

10:45am Thu 14 Aug 14

grey_man says...

Out of Warrington wrote:
Brian_Giles wrote:
I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?
Spot on Brian
Really?

Can't you tell the difference between a newspaper submitting a freedom of information request (which it is entitled to do by law) involving administrative staff and a council taking police officers off the front line to shut up a democratically elected councillor?
[quote][p][bold]Out of Warrington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brian_Giles[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?[/p][/quote]Spot on Brian[/p][/quote]Really? Can't you tell the difference between a newspaper submitting a freedom of information request (which it is entitled to do by law) involving administrative staff and a council taking police officers off the front line to shut up a democratically elected councillor? grey_man
  • Score: 10

11:30am Thu 14 Aug 14

Out of Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
Out of Warrington wrote:
Brian_Giles wrote:
I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?
Spot on Brian
Really?

Can't you tell the difference between a newspaper submitting a freedom of information request (which it is entitled to do by law) involving administrative staff and a council taking police officers off the front line to shut up a democratically elected councillor?
Get hold of a dictionary and look up "irony".

I couldn't be bothered to reply to your post on this issue because it was so predictable. Time to change the record fella. Or put in an FoI request???
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Out of Warrington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Brian_Giles[/bold] wrote: I wonder what the police could've been doing instead of wasting time responding to a FoI request from the Warrington Guardian?[/p][/quote]Spot on Brian[/p][/quote]Really? Can't you tell the difference between a newspaper submitting a freedom of information request (which it is entitled to do by law) involving administrative staff and a council taking police officers off the front line to shut up a democratically elected councillor?[/p][/quote]Get hold of a dictionary and look up "irony". I couldn't be bothered to reply to your post on this issue because it was so predictable. Time to change the record fella. Or put in an FoI request??? Out of Warrington
  • Score: -11

11:59am Thu 14 Aug 14

grey_man says...

I think your definition of 'irony' must come from Alanis Morrissette.

Then compare what you think is ironic to a reply that includes the statement 'I couldn't be bothered to reply' and go think about it.
I think your definition of 'irony' must come from Alanis Morrissette. Then compare what you think is ironic to a reply that includes the statement 'I couldn't be bothered to reply' and go think about it. grey_man
  • Score: 10

12:48pm Thu 14 Aug 14

Out of Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
I think your definition of 'irony' must come from Alanis Morrissette.

Then compare what you think is ironic to a reply that includes the statement 'I couldn't be bothered to reply' and go think about it.
It was your original post I was referring to. Attention to detail old boy, keep up!

And I will pose the question again; if you are so sure that WBC is so corrupt, surely you would make full use of FoI's to back your theories up?
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: I think your definition of 'irony' must come from Alanis Morrissette. Then compare what you think is ironic to a reply that includes the statement 'I couldn't be bothered to reply' and go think about it.[/p][/quote]It was your original post I was referring to. Attention to detail old boy, keep up! And I will pose the question again; if you are so sure that WBC is so corrupt, surely you would make full use of FoI's to back your theories up? Out of Warrington
  • Score: -7

1:28pm Thu 14 Aug 14

grey_man says...

What theories about corruption?

Planning department breaks law and covers up for it over a period of several years. Fact. Would be interesting to know why, but of course the council never asked that question, nor obliged the person deemed mainly responsible to answer any questions at all.

Council wastes police team because it doesn't want to hear what an elected councillor has to say. Fact. (And of course they have previous with this).

Incidentally, good to see that the planning department has dramatically improved its customer satisfaction levels. I know they started from a low base but any improvement is very welcome.

We had a chance in May with that big customer satisfaction survey known as an election to report on the council, but of course they made sure we didn't know enough facts to make an informed decision. So maybe an FOI request on all aspects of the council's operations six months ahead of the next local elections would be wise.
What theories about corruption? Planning department breaks law and covers up for it over a period of several years. Fact. Would be interesting to know why, but of course the council never asked that question, nor obliged the person deemed mainly responsible to answer any questions at all. Council wastes police team because it doesn't want to hear what an elected councillor has to say. Fact. (And of course they have previous with this). Incidentally, good to see that the planning department has dramatically improved its customer satisfaction levels. I know they started from a low base but any improvement is very welcome. We had a chance in May with that big customer satisfaction survey known as an election to report on the council, but of course they made sure we didn't know enough facts to make an informed decision. So maybe an FOI request on all aspects of the council's operations six months ahead of the next local elections would be wise. grey_man
  • Score: 5

8:36am Fri 15 Aug 14

Out of Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
What theories about corruption?

Planning department breaks law and covers up for it over a period of several years. Fact. Would be interesting to know why, but of course the council never asked that question, nor obliged the person deemed mainly responsible to answer any questions at all.

Council wastes police team because it doesn't want to hear what an elected councillor has to say. Fact. (And of course they have previous with this).

Incidentally, good to see that the planning department has dramatically improved its customer satisfaction levels. I know they started from a low base but any improvement is very welcome.

We had a chance in May with that big customer satisfaction survey known as an election to report on the council, but of course they made sure we didn't know enough facts to make an informed decision. So maybe an FOI request on all aspects of the council's operations six months ahead of the next local elections would be wise.
I'm gonna need a bigger boat................
...................
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: What theories about corruption? Planning department breaks law and covers up for it over a period of several years. Fact. Would be interesting to know why, but of course the council never asked that question, nor obliged the person deemed mainly responsible to answer any questions at all. Council wastes police team because it doesn't want to hear what an elected councillor has to say. Fact. (And of course they have previous with this). Incidentally, good to see that the planning department has dramatically improved its customer satisfaction levels. I know they started from a low base but any improvement is very welcome. We had a chance in May with that big customer satisfaction survey known as an election to report on the council, but of course they made sure we didn't know enough facts to make an informed decision. So maybe an FOI request on all aspects of the council's operations six months ahead of the next local elections would be wise.[/p][/quote]I'm gonna need a bigger boat................ ................... Out of Warrington
  • Score: -2

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