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Police halt "farcical" Seaford town council meeting
9:00am Saturday 18th January 2014 in News
Police were called to a “farcical” council meeting after a member of the public refused to stop filming proceedings.
The drama erupted at a Seaford Town Council meeting on Thursday where a planned 9% council tax rise was to be discussed.
Town hall officials told the man he would have to leave if he didn’t stop recording the meeting on his iPhone, but he refused and the police were called to eject him.
Officers arrived at the venue but refused to remove the man and, according to an eyewitness, the town clerk suggested the meeting was adjourned.
The eyewitness said: “It was proposed, seconded and voted on.
“Councillors voted to postpone the meeting and therefore waste even more taxpayers’ time and money.
“At this point we were all asked to leave by the police and hurried out of the building.”
Sam Adeniji, a Seaford town and Lewes District councillor, said the man was asked to stop filming because he was breaching council guidelines.
He said: “Councillors weren’t very happy about it because he didn’t have prior consent.
“I find it sad he was threatened to be kicked out and the police were called. It gives the impression we have something to hide. It was farcical.
“We record and broadcast meetings at the district council so I found what happened very strange.”
Sam Shippen, town clerk, said a motion to consider allowing filming in meetings would be placed into the agenda at the council’s next gathering on April 10.
She said the postponed meeting would be “reconvened at the earliest convenient date”.
The drama comes a week after Seaford mayor Anthony White resigned from his post with post-traumatic stress disorder.
His resignation came after reports of a disagreement with town council leader Ian White.
Yesterday Coun Ian White told The Argus he had “no intention” of speaking about Thursday’s meeting.
A spokesman from Sussex Police said: “There was no public disorder and no arrests were made.”
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