Saturday 12 March 2011

Barnet Council Meeting - mobile phone footage of residents being denied access to Town Hall

I was passed this footage of residents being denied access to the Town Hall at the Council meeting where the budget was approved on Tuesday 1st March.

There are several questions raised by this footage :-

1 - The private security had no visible id badges or accreditation.
2 - The residents were not given a reason for being denied access to the meeting
3 - They were still denied access when it was clear that there was at least on space free in the hall
4 - The Police refused to give a credible reason for denying access

I was appalled by the jobsworth approach of both the private security guards and the Police. At no time were residents in any way unreasonable. The only suggested recourse was to ring the Police station and complain.

If there was any risk of rowdyness, too many people in the building etc, it would be quite reasonable to deny access. This clearly wasn't the case. People should never be denied access to a meeting unless there are proper grounds.

My biggest worry is the fact that a bloke dressed up as the Black Magic delivery services, with as many proper visible credentials was stopping residents who paid their council tax  from exercising a legal right to attend a Council meeting.

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