No time for frivolity

York Press: No time for frivolity No time for frivolity

I READ with grave concern in The Press of December 13 that the City of York Council leader and his deputy have suggested the placing of restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings.

Thankfully, the authority’s audit and governance committee has deferred this. When it is eventually debated, I will register to speak, and use my allocated three minutes to argue in favour of more sensible guidance.

Those of us who occasionally register to speak are very aware that time flies, and three minutes gives little opportunity to be “frivolous” if one wishes to get a message across. Some matters inherently involve party politics, and I will welcome the opportunity to make still political points in a verbal submission if, in my view, that is relevant.

Most councillors graciously accept that lobby groups and public opposition are an integral part of a healthy democracy. Coun Lynn Jeffries quit the Labour group, claiming that it was “dominated by an autocratic leadership which made up its mind on issues before consultation, and told its backbench councillors how to vote”.

Stifling internal and now public debate could unfortunately disaffect many traditional Labour supporters.

Paul Hepworth, Windmill Rise, Holgate, York.

Comments (8)

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12:14pm Mon 16 Dec 13

gmsgop says...

Paul- agree entirely - I was there, spoke and tweeted before hand and also spoke on it at full council the next day where it was supposed to be approved.
All the reporting is really quite understated. The committee had no idea the report was coming, even the chair did not know about it. All the committee members from all parties were all clearly appalled and it is all on record as there was audio. The members were vociferous, especially the labour Chair Ruth potter! backbencher Neil Barnes and Cllrs Nigel Ayres! Chris steward and independent Mark Waters came to speak.

They agreed the report was not fit for purpose , they said the only bit that would ever be needed keeping was defamation and confidentially- no officer spoke although they all looked very grey. The deferred part was to save face- it was kicked out to every intent and purpose.

This is all very concerning to me, not just the fact that we were to be gagged through the last item on the audit and governance committee but no one allegedly knew of the report- or so they all say. The fact that a report, any report can be slotted on an agenda with no one knowing - not even the chair.

To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right.
See more on the most comment s section today and my twitter account @gswinburn

Gwen Swinburn
Paul- agree entirely - I was there, spoke and tweeted before hand and also spoke on it at full council the next day where it was supposed to be approved. All the reporting is really quite understated. The committee had no idea the report was coming, even the chair did not know about it. All the committee members from all parties were all clearly appalled and it is all on record as there was audio. The members were vociferous, especially the labour Chair Ruth potter! backbencher Neil Barnes and Cllrs Nigel Ayres! Chris steward and independent Mark Waters came to speak. They agreed the report was not fit for purpose , they said the only bit that would ever be needed keeping was defamation and confidentially- no officer spoke although they all looked very grey. The deferred part was to save face- it was kicked out to every intent and purpose. This is all very concerning to me, not just the fact that we were to be gagged through the last item on the audit and governance committee but no one allegedly knew of the report- or so they all say. The fact that a report, any report can be slotted on an agenda with no one knowing - not even the chair. To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right. See more on the most comment s section today and my twitter account @gswinburn Gwen Swinburn gmsgop

1:26pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Jonthan says...

Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be
"restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings"

Does he mean a restriction on what people may say?
I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say
Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be "restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings" Does he mean a restriction on what people may say? I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say Jonthan

1:40pm Mon 16 Dec 13

gmsgop says...

Jonthan wrote:
Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be
"restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings"

Does he mean a restriction on what people may say?
I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say
Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)
[quote][p][bold]Jonthan[/bold] wrote: Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be "restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings" Does he mean a restriction on what people may say? I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say[/p][/quote]Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :) gmsgop

2:28pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Jonthan says...

gmsgop wrote:
Jonthan wrote:
Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be
"restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings"

Does he mean a restriction on what people may say?
I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say
Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)
Can you please sort it out Gill ?

You rushed to support Paul Hepworth even though he is talking gobbledegook
(which you attribute to a typo). I'm afraid you are not making a lot of sense yourself when you write this --

"To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right".

You say you were there, so can you kindly explain what is exercising the pair of you? With examples of the restrictions on speakers please
[quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jonthan[/bold] wrote: Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be "restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings" Does he mean a restriction on what people may say? I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say[/p][/quote]Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)[/p][/quote]Can you please sort it out Gill ? You rushed to support Paul Hepworth even though he is talking gobbledegook (which you attribute to a typo). I'm afraid you are not making a lot of sense yourself when you write this -- "To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right". You say you were there, so can you kindly explain what is exercising the pair of you? With examples of the restrictions on speakers please Jonthan

5:29pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Ichabod76 says...

Jonthan wrote:
gmsgop wrote:
Jonthan wrote:
Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be
"restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings"

Does he mean a restriction on what people may say?
I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say
Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)
Can you please sort it out Gill ?

You rushed to support Paul Hepworth even though he is talking gobbledegook
(which you attribute to a typo). I'm afraid you are not making a lot of sense yourself when you write this --

"To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right".

You say you were there, so can you kindly explain what is exercising the pair of you? With examples of the restrictions on speakers please
Could you not even get Gwen's name right ? even though she signed her comment with it.
how rude !
[quote][p][bold]Jonthan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jonthan[/bold] wrote: Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be "restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings" Does he mean a restriction on what people may say? I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say[/p][/quote]Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)[/p][/quote]Can you please sort it out Gill ? You rushed to support Paul Hepworth even though he is talking gobbledegook (which you attribute to a typo). I'm afraid you are not making a lot of sense yourself when you write this -- "To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right". You say you were there, so can you kindly explain what is exercising the pair of you? With examples of the restrictions on speakers please[/p][/quote]Could you not even get Gwen's name right ? even though she signed her comment with it. how rude ! Ichabod76

11:23pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Jonthan says...

Ichabod76 wrote:
Jonthan wrote:
gmsgop wrote:
Jonthan wrote:
Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be
"restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings"

Does he mean a restriction on what people may say?
I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say
Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)
Can you please sort it out Gill ?

You rushed to support Paul Hepworth even though he is talking gobbledegook
(which you attribute to a typo). I'm afraid you are not making a lot of sense yourself when you write this --

"To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right".

You say you were there, so can you kindly explain what is exercising the pair of you? With examples of the restrictions on speakers please
Could you not even get Gwen's name right ? even though she signed her comment with it.
how rude !
Yes I will get her name right another time. Sorry Gwen but you explained yourself how you are always making typos Does anyone reproach you with "how rude"? Sorry too that you can't clear up all this confusion. Nobody, including yourself has attempted to state clearly what the gripe is, and I'd love to know.
[quote][p][bold]Ichabod76[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jonthan[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]gmsgop[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Jonthan[/bold] wrote: Hepworth makes no sense when he says there will be "restrictions on what registered public speakers may not say at council meetings" Does he mean a restriction on what people may say? I can't think of any way you can restrict what people may NOT say[/p][/quote]Yep I'm sure -basic typo, we all do those, me more than most :)[/p][/quote]Can you please sort it out Gill ? You rushed to support Paul Hepworth even though he is talking gobbledegook (which you attribute to a typo). I'm afraid you are not making a lot of sense yourself when you write this -- "To that end I have lodged today an FOI on the protocols the council is supposed to have- I also noted on whatdotheyknow another more specific question on what officer and councillor knew what - quite right". You say you were there, so can you kindly explain what is exercising the pair of you? With examples of the restrictions on speakers please[/p][/quote]Could you not even get Gwen's name right ? even though she signed her comment with it. how rude ![/p][/quote]Yes I will get her name right another time. Sorry Gwen but you explained yourself how you are always making typos Does anyone reproach you with "how rude"? Sorry too that you can't clear up all this confusion. Nobody, including yourself has attempted to state clearly what the gripe is, and I'd love to know. Jonthan

11:57am Tue 17 Dec 13

Ichabod76 says...

Instead of trying to distract from the content of the letter, Why not read the story ?

http://www.yorkpress
.co.uk/news/10876063
.Attempts_to_control
_what_public_can_say
_say_at_council_meet
ings_is_blocked/

or better still the monitoring officers report yourself ?

http://democracy.yor
k.gov.uk/documents/s
86013/Public%20Parti
cipation%20Scheme.pd
f

maybe you could tell us how this report made it on to the agenda without the chairs knowledge or any of the Labour groups ?
why didn't the Council leader or deputy read the report that they asked to be written ?
not only do they want to stop the public speaking they wanted to sneak it through.
Instead of trying to distract from the content of the letter, Why not read the story ? http://www.yorkpress .co.uk/news/10876063 .Attempts_to_control _what_public_can_say _say_at_council_meet ings_is_blocked/ or better still the monitoring officers report yourself ? http://democracy.yor k.gov.uk/documents/s 86013/Public%20Parti cipation%20Scheme.pd f maybe you could tell us how this report made it on to the agenda without the chairs knowledge or any of the Labour groups ? why didn't the Council leader or deputy read the report that they asked to be written ? not only do they want to stop the public speaking they wanted to sneak it through. Ichabod76

12:19pm Tue 17 Dec 13

gmsgop says...

Only just on - yes I think the background is easy to access-
So readers can find the audio of the audit and governance cttee on
Www.york.gov.uk/webc
asts - please listen to item 3 and 8 - 3 is the public speakers comments, me, Cllrs Steward and Waters and item 8 is the eye watering discussion from the committee as the report was branded not fit for purpose. The link to the committee report is also on that page.

Finally, the most commented article in the press today is also that item, the gagging report a the comments are interesting.

I think that you will find all the facts you need on how not to gag the public!
Only just on - yes I think the background is easy to access- So readers can find the audio of the audit and governance cttee on Www.york.gov.uk/webc asts - please listen to item 3 and 8 - 3 is the public speakers comments, me, Cllrs Steward and Waters and item 8 is the eye watering discussion from the committee as the report was branded not fit for purpose. The link to the committee report is also on that page. Finally, the most commented article in the press today is also that item, the gagging report a the comments are interesting. I think that you will find all the facts you need on how not to gag the public! gmsgop

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