Council meetings labelled a ‘circus’ with members scoring ‘Brownie points’

Mansfield Civic Centre.
Mansfield Civic Centre.

Councillors in Mansfield need to stop ‘scoring Brownie points’ against each other and serve the district, one claimed during a bad-tempered meeting this week.

Tit-for-tat complaints and arguments broke out between Labour and Mansfield Independent Forum (MIF) councillors during the full council meeting at the Civic Centre.

With 31 councillors in attendance, the meeting lasted for more than two hours but much of the time was spent bickering.

But UKIP councillor, Sid Walker, who won his seat during last year’s election and joined a coalition with the MIF shortly after, condemned the attitude of many.

He said: “I have sat here for a year now on this council and been to other meetings where everyone seems to work well together between the coalition and Labour, we’ve had no problems, which I’m happy about.

“I believe the Mansfield public would not like to hear just what happens at these council meetings.

“It seems that some of us, on both sides, just want to score Brownie points against each other and that is not what we are elected for.

“So when are Labour and the coalition going to do what they are elected to do and do the best for Mansfield district?”

Despite this, it failed to halt the arguments and culminated in a complaint being put in about MIF’s Councillor Nick Bennett.

During a motion put forward by the MIF, the Labour members reacted to what they saw as a thinly-veiled comment about their party and tempers once again flared.

It was then alleged Coun Bennett swore in frustration over the ensuing arguments.

He is to be hauled before the monitoring officer on Monday after a complaint was submitted by a Labour councillor.

He later said: “It’s absolutely ridiculous, it’s from both sides and the place turns into a circus.

“If the general public could see what went on it would go down like a lead balloon.”