.At the previous Council Meeting on 27th October, at which Councillor Sharman was absent, I asked how Councillor Sharman had voted on the Local Development Framework (Incursion into the Greenbelt).
The Leader of the Council refused to answer the question and said that he would respond to me in writing.
No such response was received, I therefore asked Councillor Sharman, at this month’s Council Meeting on Wednesday 8th December 2010, how had he voted? He answered, “that he was in hospital at the time and did not attend cabinet on that day”.
During the meeting I checked the minutes of the cabinet meeting, and found that, the answer I was given was not the truth, the minutes revealed that Cllr Sharman had in fact attended the meeting.
At this point, I raised a point of order with the Mayor, pointing out the inaccuracy and asked for an accurate answer.
The Mayor told me that “I had had an answer” (although now obviously wrong) and because I kept pressing for the truth, which the Leader did not want to give me, the Leader moved 'that I be no longer be heard'. All Labour Group members then voted in favour.
The Mayor then, in breach of standing orders, immediately moved that 'I be ordered to leave the meeting'. Again all Labour Group members voted in favour.
In view of the fact that the Labour Group have never abided by standing orders and seem to want to cherrypick the ones that suit them and interpret them in imaginative ways when it suits them, I refused to leave, in protest.
My legitimate protest was met with a response that rapidly descended into farce by Labour Group members acting in a thoroughly undignified manner.
The Chief Executive then told me that, “if I refused to leave, he would fetch the Police”. I told him that “if the Police ask me to leave I was prepared to do so but I would not be bullied by the Labour Group into doing so”. This was a flagrant abuse of the Chief Executive’s influence by involving the Police and putting them in an invidious position in a civil matter that had nothing to do with them.
When the Police arrived and asked me to leave I did so.
I am 65 years of age and have never allowed myself to be bullied and I don’t propose to start now.
The Labour Group believes that, because they have an overwhelming majority on the Council, they can do as they please regardless of the rules; Rules that they themselves made but are not prepared to abide by. I try to show them just how fundamentally unfair and undemocratic they are.
The people of Rotherham have been lied to, Labour Councillors know this, but nevertheless allowed a flagrant abuse of power to silence me and to keep the actual truth from us.
We are still none the wiser as to the way Councillor Sharman voted? It cannot be a 'State Secret'?
A democratic outrage if ever there was one!