Lancaster councillor, 79, falls asleep in public meeting

Coun Roger Sherlock
Coun Roger Sherlock

A veteran city councillor who fell asleep on several occasions during a recent public meeting said it was “going on and on” and he was “very tired”.

Coun Roger Sherlock, 79, was caught napping during a Planning and Highways Committee meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on March 6.

He is now expected to stand down from the role.

The former engineer, who has represented Skerton on the city council for 22 years said he abstained from voting on items that he had slept through.

At one point during the five hour meeting, Labour colleague and council leader Eileen Blamire woke him to tell him he was snoring, and that “the press and the public were watching”.

Coun Margaret Pattison also frequently nudged Coun Sherlock and appeared to be helping him raise his hand to vote on individual items.

Coun Sherlock said: “The meeting was going on and on.

“My eyes were closed.

“The ones that I was going asleep with, I abstained.

“It just goes on for a long time. I’ll be seriously thinking about not sitting on (the committee).

“I don’t make excuses.

“I’m very tired and anaemic.”

Coun Margaret Pattison said: “We’ve got quite a lot of elderly councillors.

“With Roger being ill he’s up and down at the moment.

“We have a pre-meeting and we all decide how we’re going to vote.

“We look after eachother.

“I wasn’t making him vote, I was nudging him to say it’s time to vote.

“I was giving him water as well.”

Coun Eileen Blamire said that Coun Sherlock would be resigning from his positions on the planning policy and planning and highways committees.

She added: “Roger has been a fantastic councillor and a great man. At the time he didn’t realise he was sleeping, but he knows now that he can’t carry on.”

A spokesperson for Lancaster City Council said: “The council’s code of conduct sets out the standards of behaviour expected by elected members.

“In the event that the council was to receive a complaint alleging a breach of the code of conduct it would be dealt with in line with established procedures.”