Statement by the Mayor, Councillor Ken Smith, regarding Full Council on Wednesday 22 April

At a meeting of the Council on 22 April 2015, a group of Councillors chose not to participate in discussions.

The refusal to take part in the meeting was in response to a decision made on legal advice prior to the Council meeting. Commenting after the meeting of the Council he chaired, the Mayor of Kingston, Councillor Ken Smith, said:

“I was very disappointed at the action taken by Liberal Democrat Councillors at last night's Council meeting. Because a motion they had put forward for debate had not been accepted on to the agenda they refused to participate in the meeting at all, thus leaving their constituents without a voice in the Council Chamber.

“The background to this was a motion submitted by the Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group which officers, on legal advice, considered to put the Council at risk of legal challenge. This was because an aspect of the Motion was considered to be potentially defamatory. This had been explained to the Leader of the Group and the decision was taken, by officers, to exclude the Motion from the agenda in order to safeguard the Council's position.

“I made my disappointment known at the end of the meeting and I hope we won't see a repetition of such behaviour in the future. The action was particularly unfortunate as we had a number of visitors at the meeting who must have got a very poor impression of the Council.”