Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Orwellian stuff

I just tried to get in to watch Carmarthenshire County Councillors at work but was refused entry by Mr. Colin Davies "Democratic Services Manager" who could cite no rule from the Council's constitution or standing orders.

The reason that I was refused entry was because I would not sign an undertaking "not record or film any meetings of the Council or its committees from the public gallery of the Council Chamber at County Hall, Carmarthen until and unless the policy relating to this is reviewed by the Council." The address at the top of the bit of paper states that it is "To: Chief Executive." One wonders about the story of the tail wagging the dog ;-)

I asked for my Councillor to come and explain why this was, as I had asked him on the 14th Sept to find out. He came very quickly and said he had asked for clarification but that legal services had not got back to him and that the meeting was about to start and he couldn't stay. I will copy the email, of which I sent copies to Simon Hart MP, Angela Burns AM and Carl Sargeant AM, at the bottom of the page. I redacted my email address but left Daff's because it is published on the county council website

I was very happy to meet up with Caebrwyn and Y Cneifiwr at last, who both did sign and go in. I also met Chris Segar of The Ferret being ignored by the council too!

Subject: turned away from county council meeting
Date: Wed, 14 Sep 2011 12:13:18 +0100
From: Dick Bain <>
To: Cllr D B Davies <>


This morning I tried to get to see my county council in action but was
refused entry until I had signed some piece of paper which I refused
to do. I asked under what rule they were restricting my access to the
public gallery but they could not or would not answer; however they
said someone would come down and explain to me why I had to sign this

Chris Burns identified himself as deputy chief executive, he told me
that council rules dictated that I sign the form but he could not or
would not specify which rule, under the constitution or standing
orders, restricted access to the public gallery.

Can you clarify under what rules I was turned away?


Dick Bain