Bag searches to be introduced at Isle of Wight council meetings (update 2)

From this week, if you want to attend Isle of Wight full council meetings your bag will be searched before you can go up to the public gallery. Here’s why ….

bag being searched

Following the Labour Party protest at the Isle of Wight council meeting in November, when banners were unfurled from the public gallery, new security measures are being introduced.

New measures
An email to all councillors states the banner unfurling “raised concerns about the safety of those sitting below” and therefore, security measured have been re-considered.

The new measures will include adjusting the seating in the chamber, as well as searching the bags of members of the public before they are allowed to go up to the public gallery.

This week’s meeting
A large number of residents are expected to the meeting this Wednesday (16th January), so priority for access the public gallery will be those who ask questions and the petition proposers (the council will be hearing petitions about the closure threat of the Law Centre, proposed new Newport and overnight parking charges and cross Solent travel scheme).

Should there not be enough room in the public gallery a conference room with a video link will be set up.

Palin: Support non-violent direct action
Campaigns Officer for the Isle of Wight Green Party, Cameron Palin, told OnTheWight,

“I find it appalling that the council are acting in such a way that they are now trying to avoid public scrutiny.

“Island residents should be allowed to express their views in a non-violent direct way, as a party we stand firmly against cuts to public services and we support non-violent direct action.”

Peaceful protest
He went on to say,

“I deem it shameful of the council to not allow the public to express their views in this way. I personally attended the meeting in question which the silent demo within the public gallery took place.

“It was peaceful and nobody was in danger, as residents we should be allowed to voice our concerns to those in power locally and they should not abuse that power.”

Brannon: Opposing conscious cruelty
Colleen Brannnon, on behalf of Island Labour, told OnTheWight,

“The banner protest was just one way in which Isle of Wight Labour party members are opposing the suffering inflicted by our Tory-led council. It was executed peacefully and without incident.

“Island Labour will oppose the conscious cruelty inflicted on our community in each and every way possible, until we elect a labour-led council that will put the needs of the many above profit for the few.”

Article edit
Comment from Cameron Palin added.
Comment from Colleen Brannon added.

Image: zieak under CC BY 2.0

Monday, 14th January, 2019 9:31am



Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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5 Comments on "Bag searches to be introduced at Isle of Wight council meetings (update 2)"

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Email updates?
People should note that representives from the fire service, IOW Save Our NHS and members of the general public also played a big part in the protest outside the Council offices and in the public gallery where 2 banners were unfurled. I would suggest that this is nothing to do with safety and all about a worried Administration (or part of it) trying to silence the public… Read more »
Geoff Brodie

The petitions are actually about the existential threat to the Law Centre funding and the proposed new Newport and overnight parking charges, as well as the cross-Solent travel scheme. The Ryde parking petition was presented to November full council.


Mr Brodie, in advance of the meeting, has anyone indicated the cost of employing overnight parking enforcement officers or estimated the extra revenue they’re expected to raise?

Geoff Brodie

I know those questions have been asked, but I have yet to see any response