Green councillors have hit back at claims by the Labour group of “rude and dismissive” behaviour during a meeting over a controversial cycle lane.

It comes after an open letter where Labour Councillor Gary Wilkinson said that the Green group had aimed “ugly remarks and personal attacks” at his colleagues during a meeting of the environment, transport and sustainability committee in July.

Councillors had fiery exchanges in the meeting to decide the future of the Old Shoreham Road cycle lane.

However, the Greens have criticised Cllr Wilkinson for not pursuing his concerns through the council’s process for disputes.

In a statement, they said; “The council has a process for managing disputes where councillors or members of the public feel standards have been breached.

“It is disappointing councillor Wilkinson has not chosen to go through this process which is open to him should he feel fault has occurred.

“This process enables a fair discussion of the issues, but Cllr Wilkinson has instead opted to issue an open letter.

“We wish to make no further comment on this letter and will instead use the process open to us should we feel appropriate.”

The letter highlighted the behaviour of Green councillor Amy Heley, chairwoman of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, describing her as “rude and dismissive to opposition councillors and members of the public.”

Cllr Wilkinson described the actions and remarks made by Green councillors as “truly unacceptable” and said: “Our city deserves a more grown-up and mature politics.

“When we fail to lead by example here on the council and fan the flames of division, we set a negative tone for the citywide debate on these crucial issues, seeing motorists pitted against cyclists and pedestrians, and none of the above benefitting.”

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