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Posted by: John Brace | 6th June 2014

Wirral Council councillors ban filming at public meeting to decide on alcohol licence for Michaels of Moreton shop

Wirral Council councillors ban filming at public meeting to decide on alcohol licence for Michaels of Moreton shop

                                 

Here is a transcript of what happened today at the Licensing Act 2003 subcommittee meeting. The video of it is below the transcript. Didn’t Councillor Phil Davies state once that the Labour administration was “open and transparent” or has their policy changed on such things?

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
Can I ask that people make sure that their mobile phones are switched off? It’s very important. I’ll also advise you that there’s not a fire drill today so if the alarm does go off, the fire exit is there and march through to the car park over there.

OK, my name is Councillor Steve Niblock, I’m Chair of the Subcommittee this morning. Either side are my councillor colleagues who will be making the decision regards the application. As a preliminary matter, you will be aware that a member of the public is filming these proceedings and I’m going to ask all those present whether they are happy with that to continue and if they are not then the filming will have to stop. So it’s entirely a matter for yourselves as to whether or not these proceedings are filmed. Are you happy? You’re happy.

UNKNOWN
I’m happy.

UNKNOWN 2
Can I ask the purpose of the filming please?

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK:
I have no idea.

KEN ABRAHAM (legal advisor to the subcommittee)
If you have got a question to be raised probably we could bring Mr Brace in?

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
I wasn’t going to bring a member of the public in to the proceedings, that they’re not really here as part of the committee and the proceedings. They’re on camera and I have no idea whether actually I can bring them into the committee proceedings of the subcommittee you know as you should know I struggle with that.

KEN ABRAHAM (legal advisor to the subcommittee)
I appreciate that Chair, ok.

UNKNOWN 2
If I don’t know the purpose of it, I’m quite unhappy for filming.

KEN ABRAHAM (legal advisor to the subcommittee)
I accept that.

JOHN BRACE
Shall I answer his question as to how?

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
Sorry?

JOHN BRACE
Shall I answer his question as to how?

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
No!

JOHN BRACE
OK.

COUNCILLOR HARRY SMITH
So we’ve said it like that.

UNKNOWN 3
Could you repeat the question?

UNKNOWN 2
Are you happy for the proceedings to be filmed?

UNKNOWN 3
Yes.

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
Can I ask you to stop filming?

JOHN BRACE
I’m not actually filming that side, so I’m just…

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
Well I’m sorry but I’m asking you to stop!

JOHN BRACE
I want to ask.

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
There’s been no discretion

JOHN BRACE
I know.

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
for somebody, excuse me, there’s been an objection, I am asking you to stop filming!

JOHN BRACE
Can I just ask you what your legal power is to stop filming?

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
No I’m sorry. I have asked you, you need to stop filming. That means stop now!

JOHN BRACE
OK.

COUNCILLOR STEVE NIBLOCK
Stop now!

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Responses

  1. […] Wirral Council councillors ban filming at public meeting to decide on <b>…</b> […]

  2. The sooner the law enacting the filming of public meetings the better, Wirral council will never be open & transparent in a month of sundays it all goes on bahind closed doors both with the councilors & officers & the sooner they realise they are “PUBLIC” servants accoubtable to us the tatepayers the better.

    • Indeed, but how long will that take? Although it’s expected to be become law this month I can envisage politicians trying to delay it? See my letter before claim (judicial review) for my take on the current legal framework surrounding such decisions.

  3. This Niblock person obviously has no idea how he comes across to the public…. B A D L Y.

    I’ll just make this a bit clearer.

    NIBLOCK APPEARS TO BE STANDING ASTRIDE A MOUNTAIN OF COUNCIL MALPRACTICE AND DOUBLE DEALING THAT HE IS DESPERATE TO HIDE.

    He probably actually believes that the LGA “Improvement” Board granted him anD his colleagues FULL licence to carry on acting in their own self-interest.

    Wrong Niblock ! We’re onto you… just like we were onto the abusers who fled with their pockets bulging with our cash (Thanks to the cowardly CEOs who felt threatened with being dobbed in it via the inside knowledge of abusers).

    As Mr Hardaker said, it’s time to conduct these affairs in the interests of the public that you serve. You’re worshipping a false idol – BUSINESS NEEDS – and your treacherous, grubby, grasping Torylite agenda is on full display here.

    <<>>

    • Well just to get a little perspective here, this was a meeting to decide on one alcohol licence for a shop in Moreton, to hear two residents concerns about possible antisocial behaviour and whether this should mean the licence would be refused. The conditions that the police wanted had been accepted so the police (who didn’t come along didn’t show up). The licence was agreed with conditions.

      I agree Cllr Niblock comes across badly, maybe I do too for standing my ground (something which seems to come as a surprise to him). Later on the legal advisor said to me they would have been within their rights to throw me out of the meeting for being disruptive and that councillors had been “shouting” at him. Why bother having a legal advisor when they patently ignored his advice for me to answer the guy’s question?

      • It’s Niblock who needs some perspective. He was the one who got himself all irate, and looked like a blood vessel was about to burst all over his lovely documents, and the nice table-top we pay to have dusted and polished.

        Christ councillor, either wise up, calm down, go onto beta-blockers or give up, for the sake of everybody.

        This is NOT how council business should be conducted. It screams of an ever-present undercurrent of foul play, threatening to surface and break loose at any time.

        What a basket case this place is.

  4. Time to wise up Niblock, or you’ll go the same way as the “ever present” (haha) Brian (Enda) Kenny – into the wilderness, nursing a completely groundless, futile and pathetic grudge against the Wirral Globe letters page of all things !

    (rather than honestly acknowledging the sterling efforts put in by the Green Party over several years at directly targetting and winning the #GREENBIRKENHEADANDTRANMERE seat)

    • He’s in a safe Labour seat and comes up for election in 2016. Remember though what happened to another councillor in a safe seat former Cllr Pat “sweep it under the carpet” Glasman? She went off on holiday and the Labour Party picked someone else!

  5. The mask is slipping – we can now see ‘who are the masters now’ in the Council…

  6. Reblogged this on Thoughts on politics and people and commented:
    We now most councillors have faces made for radio but their bizarre behaviour at this meeting, over a licensing application in Moreton, sets a new (low) standard…

  7. […] Friday’s blog post Wirral Council councillors ban filming at public meeting to decide on alcohol licence for Michaels o…, there have been some reactions to what […]

  8. […] The most recent example of Wirral Council stopping filming at a public meeting was exactly two months ago today at a Licensing 2003 subcommittee meeting to decide on an application for an alc…. […]

  9. […] Seemingly with a look of disappointment and a big intake of breath Cllr Steve Niblock as nobody was objecting to the filming of the meeting he asked their legal adviser Ken Abraham for “guidance on this issue”. I will point out at this point that in June, Cllr Niblock totally ignored the guidance that Ken Abraham gave him at a previous Licensing Act 2003 subcommittee meeting which led to the stop filming, that means stop now blog post back in June. […]


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