The Trafford Labour group walked out tonight Nov 29, during the debate about Flixton and the building of new homes on the abandoned William Roe Golf Course.
Trafford Council leader Sean Anstee started the ball rolling by telling Trafford Labour and their leader Andrew Western they had no options but to accept what they are going to do with all of Trafford’s green belt land.
The decision was taken by an officer sat next to the mayor that they could not negate what they had planned, and it is thought because of this stance by the Tories that is why they left the meeting, every one of them leaving only the Trafford Lib Dems as the opposition.
We can say that Trafford Council not only paused the live broadcast so the public could not see what was going on, but the have now deleted the broadcast up to when the cameras went back to live.
Once the live stream re started the Tories were blaming everything on Labour, even though they was not present, rather than listening to the public, which they all have problems dealing with, Jane Brophy from Timperley Liberal Democrats who was now the only opposition also told the Tories they did not want any building on green belt land on the Timperley Wedge and Flixton, but to build on brown belt land instead.
We are still awaiting a response from Trafford Labour councillors who have up to now have been silent, we have some from the Tories, Councillor Alex Williams on Twitter saying “And they claim they can run a council, childish behaviour walking out when you don’t agree” with the hashtag Shameful.
Whilst we try our hardest not to give opinions, we have to say in this instance that (a) Trafford Labour should not have walked out, they are there to represent you (b) an enquiry should now be held as to why those live pictures was paused and why they deleted the footage! (c) Why was a vote held when they had no opposition in the building
We understand the frustration of Trafford Labour, and the fact that they are probably disgusted with the Tories, then I could think of many times when they could have walked out and they did not, they represent each and everyone of us, and get paid for doing so, it was wrong for them to leave, they should fight, and fight hard.
Trafford Labour have now responded on Social Media with this statement in full:
“At this evening’s Council meeting Trafford’s Labour councillors took the extraordinary and unprecedented step of vacating the Council chamber mid-meeting.
During the course of debating a Labour motion opposing all development of green-belt land in Flixton, Conservative councillors sought to prevent a vote on this motion by moving an amendment which Labour councillors felt was directly contrary to the spirit of the original motion.
Negation of a motion is explicitly disallowed by the Council’s constitution and, as you would expect, Labour councillors immediately sought a legal ruling from the Council’s Monitoring Officer as to the validity of the amendment. In an incredibly unusual step, the Monitoring Officer was unable to make a ruling and the meeting was adjourned.
Labour councillors were unable to have confidence in the legal determination that was then made, and felt the democratic process was being undermined. We remain of the view that a decisive vote on whether to allow house building on Flixton’s green-belt should have been permitted. As a result, we felt we had no option other than to leave the meeting.
As Labour councillors in Trafford we take our responsibilities extremely seriously, and are very disappointed that the Conservatives sought to stifle debate and prevent a vote on such an important issue. Throughout the debate Conservative councillors repeatedly insisted that no vote on the motion would be allowed. We remain absolutely committed to the fight to save Flixton’s green-belt and will continue to support and represent residents in their fight to save this precious land”