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.
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.”
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.”
Comment from Cameron Palin added.
Comment from Colleen Brannon added.