Mansfield Council’s broadband debate branded ‘a load of tosh’

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A WAR of words broke out at a full meeting of Mansfield District Council this week with councillors slammed for playing ‘political tennis’.

Hostilities began after members of the Mansfield Independent Forum took offence to being referred to as ‘The Insignificant Seven’ by Labour Councillor Paul Henshaw.

Independent Coun Derek Evans labelled the claim ‘outrageous’.

Coun Henshaw had asked Executive Mayor Tony Egginton if he was going to share information from a conference session he’d attended about ‘inspiring and motivating councillors and officers’.

“Will you just be sharing the information with us or just the ‘Insignificant Seven’? Coun Henshaw asked.

Mayor Egginton claimed Labour members usually ‘refused to engage’ so would not be sharing the information with them.

A motion was then put forward by Labour Councillor Katrina Atherton for the council to lobby BT to bring forward the installation of fibre-optic broadband in Mansfield.

Independent Coun Martin Wright said the motion was ‘yet another of Labour Group’s pointless and unnecessary motions that wastes member and officer time’.

Independent leader Coun Kate Allsop claimed the work had already been done.

She added: “Maybe we should have a motion about the sun coming up?”

Coun Wright gave figures of Labour and Conservative motions which the Independents had supported at County Hall to dispel the ‘innuendo’ that they side with the Tories.

Labour Coun Joyce Bosnjak hit back stating: “What a load of tosh. I’ve got better things to do with my time than engage in these ridiculous conversations.

“If members of the public could here what was going on they wouldn’t vote for any of us.”

Chair Coun Brian Lohan called for order and told both groups to cut out the ‘political tennis’.

The motion was then backed unanimously by councillors from all parties.