Police called out to incident at Lancaster City Council meeting

Police were called out to reports of “nuisance offences” during a meeting at Lancaster Town Hall.

Friday, 17th January 2020, 12:24 pm
Police vehicles outside Lancaster Town Hall.

The Lancaster Guardian has seen a letter, signed by members of the public, who attended a Standards Committee meeting at Lancaster Town Hall on January 16.

Councillors at the meeting voted that items on the meeting’s agenda should be discussed in private, and members of the public and press were asked to leave.

Following this, police were called to the meeting, although it is not yet clear why.

A police spokesman said: “We were called around 6.25pm to reports of nuisance offences.

“Officers attended and no further issues were reported.”

The letter, which was sent to the Lancaster Guardian after the meeting, reads: “We all attended a meeting of the Lancaster City Council Standards Committee on 16/11/2020, which was to discuss, among other issues, charges against (Lancaster City Councillor) John Wild.

“We understood that the meeting was to be open to the public as Coun Wild had agreed when asked.

“We understood that the committee would be discussing other matters that might well be confidential, and were happy to leave the room at those times.

“Nonetheless, the chair declared the meeting private, and was supported by a vote of the committee.

“We were lectured and the police were called.

“We deeply regret this breach in transparency and public accountability.”

Coun Mandy King, Chair of Lancaster City Council’s Standards Committee, said: “Thursday evening’s Standards Committee meeting discussed a number of reports, all of which contained exempt confidential material. As is standard practice, a resolution was passed to exclude members of the public to allow the committee to consider this information in private.

“Unfortunately, a small group of people refused to leave the room despite repeated requests to do so.

“The committee continued its work in an alternative meeting room while the police were called to disperse the group.”