Posted: 16.12.21 at 20:43 by Charlotte Lillywhite
A Maldon District Council meeting has been shelved just minutes after it began, following a councillor’s refusal to leave the meeting.
Members voted to remove Councillor Chrisy Morris from the meeting tonight (Thursday, 16 December), when he continued speaking despite members voting for him to no longer be heard.
Ending the meeting, Councillor Mark Heard, the chairman, said Councillor Morris had “prevented this council from transacting business” by refusing to leave.
Just minutes after the meeting began, Councillor Morris asked to make a declaration of interest but began discussing how he feels “let down” by the council.
Councillor Heard said: “This is not a declaration.”
He continued: “I don’t want any preamble, I just want the declaration.”
As tensions began to rise, Councillor Morris responded: “I’m telling you why I’m making a declaration.”
He said: “I’m getting to the point, so now you’re refusing my declaration just like you refused a point of order.”
Councillor Heard proposed that Councillor Morris no longer be heard, which was voted through by members, but he continued to speak.
He said: “I’m a democratically-elected member and I will be heard.”
Councillor Heard told Councillor Morris to leave the building after calling his behaviour “disorderly”, with 14 councillors voting in favour of the decision and three against.
The meeting was adjourned for 20 minutes and then cancelled as Councillor Morris refused to leave.
Closing the meeting at 8.17pm, Councillor Heard said: “I’m now going to close this meeting because of Councillor Morris’ refusal to obey a resolution of council - and his conduct has deliberately prevented the transaction of business.”
It follows the cancellation of last month’s district council meeting, when members walked out in protest after Councillor Morris arrived with a megaphone and repeatedly shouted “point of order” as Councillor Heard opened the meeting.
Councillors were discussing sanctions against Councillor Morris, after two investigations into his behaviour earlier this year recommended he had bullied council members.
Councillors were set to discuss tonight the items on the agenda which had to be shelved when the meeting abruptly ended last month.
This included the Maldon District Local Development Plan, the Langford and Ulting Neighbourhood Plan and a bid to build more than 1,000 homes in South Woodham Ferrers.
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