Former Havering councillor says ban to residents in council chamber is ‘democracy gone mad’
PUBLISHED: 18:00 21 November 2011
A former councillor who sparked the council to ban residents from sitting in the council chamber during Havering Council and Cabinet meetings has argued that it is‘democracy gone mad’.
Eamonn Mahon from Como Street, Romford, has criticised the council’s decision to banish the residents to the balcony instead of the public gallery.
Mr Mahon said: “The whole thing is democracy gone mad.
“It just goes to show there is no democracy in the council chamber under this Conservative administration.”
Last week The Recorder, reported that residents will be forced to sit in the balcony which has restricted views and, is uncomfortable and keeps occupants out of the councillor’s sight, according to the opposition.
The decision was in made due to Mr Mahon’s behaviour at the meetings and particularly after he was asked to leave the council meeting in September by Havering Mayor Cllr Melvin Wallace after standing up in the chamber.
But Mr Mahon defended his behaviour saying that he had a cramp in his leg.
He said: “I did explain to the Mayor at the time that I had a really bad cramp in my leg.
“Anyone who has ever had a cramp should just know how painful it is and when he asked me to sit down I just fell back into my seat.”
Mr Mahon, who admits that he is a ‘thorn in the side of the administration’ was often seen in the council chamber holding up a board saying Romford needs its own swimming pool, until fairly recently when he was banned from bringing in the board.
Mr Mahon who nows wears a T Shirt, containing the same message, has made an official complaint to the standards board about the way he was treated by Cllr Melvin Wallace. He said: “I think it is totally unfair.
“The administration have got rid of the area committee meetings and now they have stopped residents from sitting in the council chamber, what kind of democracy is that?
“If they want to ban residents from sitting in the council chambers, then they should look at how the councillors conduct themselves in the town hall.”
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