Thursday, 25 October 2007

AND SO IT BEGINS...........

Today I attended a public demonstration outside the Town Hall called to oppose the Gypsies Green development. About 50 people turned up, bearing petitions, banners and very loud voices! This was not a bad turn out bearing in mind that most people on a Thursday afternoon at 2.30 p.m. are at work (perhaps this is why the council hold’s its meetings at such a godly unfriendly hour). Drawn from all walks of life, the protesters conducted themselves in a very dignified manner. Support from the passing public and the “honking” of car horns was unanimous.

After the usual press photos and statements, those campaigners who were able to decamped to the public gallery for the full Council meeting, and what an eye opener that was. Lasting a glorious 7 minutes (that’s “seven” in full English It would have been shorter but the mayor plunged things into extra time when she had to remove her chain due to a procedural point) our illustrious Councillor’s allowed everything through on the nod without a single voice of dissent, query, clarification or indeed a tickly throat cough! The only noise that disturbed the proceedings was the sound of a mobile phone going off (on the Council side, not the publics. Perhaps it was an alarm to wake somebody up).

I am well versed to such “open” government, but those present in the public gallery were visibly shocked and to be honest, ashamed. If Councillor’s and full time officials ever thought that these people lacked motivation and coherence, then they have shot themselves in the proverbial foot.

The campaign continues tonight at the Riverside CAF, an area where the “true” opposition to this Council plans centres, followed by a public consultation exercise in King Street on Saturday. After that, watch this space. You’ll here it here first.

PS – a little message to Curly at his Corner Shop. Whilst sitting in the front row of the public gallery (I like to be as close to proceedings as possible) I overheard three “full time council officials” discussing with great anguish and anger a certain series of his post’s regarding “Brighton”. The male employee finished by offering to email the other two copies of said offending posts. Not familiar with the faces, I am currently trawling Council publications to ID said offender’s mug shots. Always one for creating a stir at the top, I cant help but feel slightly envious –it’s always of great gratification to cause officials (unelected or otherwise) such discomfort, regardless of whether it’s true or not.


Curly said...

Are you absolutely sure that they were council officers Peter? It is possible that they were journalists, who often sit in the Chamber below the public gallery.

PETER SHAW said...

The reporters were at the other end of the chamber, I recognised one of them. At the end of the day, its nice to know that officials consider local blogs good sources for information and reference.

Ahmed Khan said...


I can confirm that 2 journalists were present and they sat at the 'press table' located on the left hand side of the chamber (if you were facing the Mayor), just behind Councillor John Anglin who appeared to be doing his best to engage them in conversation or was he perhaps looking for yet another way of raising his new found friend's (Cllr John Wood) profile!

Hope this helps?