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Labour Councillors stifle debate at budget meeting

insidepage-rightcol-jillian&robIn an unprecedented move Sheffield Council closed its budget debate on Friday halfway through a speech from Green Councillor Rob Murphy.

Cllr Murphy was seconding the Green Budget Amendment, an amendment that contained proposals to financially support children’s centres, adventure playgrounds and Stocksbridge Leisure Centre. When the guillotine came at 6.45 the Lord Mayor departed from the usual practice of allowing Councillors to finish their speech and stopped Cllr Murphy mid sentence. He was calling on Labour councillors to stand up for their local communities and ask the people of Sheffield for money to save facilities.

Councillor Murphy then proposed that he be given an extension to finish his speech, but even the offer by the Lord Mayor of a 5 minute extension was turned down by the Labour group on a vote.

Cllr Murphy comments : “I understand why Labour councillors were feeling uncomfortable but I’ve never seen a speech cut off halfway through. Our proposals were not mentioned during the 4 hour debate despite offering a real alternative to over £3 million of the Council’s cuts. It was a shame local councillors affected did not get to hear our plans.”

He added : “In the past I’ve campaigned for public broadcasting of Council meetings, but have been stopped by the Labour Administration. When they shut down debate like this it’s no good for democracy.”

NOTE : The text of the Green budget amendment is shown here

Topics: Budget, City Wide, Council, Cuts, Featured, General, Rob Murphy