Councillors to get behaviour ‘cheat sheet’

  • Move is an attempt to crackdown on unruly behaviour
  • Cover letter will be given to all councillors outlining conduct guidelines
  • Recent meeting cut short after councillor refused to leave the chamber
  • ‘Cheat sheet’ includes warning about iPad use
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WIGAN’S councillors will be issued with a behaviour ‘cheat sheet’ at the full council meeting tonight (Wednesday).

The move by local authority bosses is the latest in an attempt to crackdown on unruly behaviour in the chamber.

Recent meetings have seen councillors asked to leave for disobeying requests and police officers have been called twice in the last year.

The conduct guidelines will be placed on the seats of all 75 of the borough’s councillors ahead of the budget setting meeting.

A cover letter signed by new monitoring officer Linda Fisher and Mayor Phyll Cullen reads: “I do hope that all members agree that it is important that members take their responsibilities of holding office seriously.

“Members really must respect the office of the Mayor and her decisions at the meeting.”

Wigan Town Hall council chamber

Wigan Town Hall council chamber

The governing rules of the meeting are then listed in bullet-points below.

January’s meeting was cut short when Coun Bob Brierley refused to leave the chamber having been asked by the Mayor, meaning police officers were called to Leigh Town Hall.

And last year the same independent councillor was embroiled in controversy when he was accused of using a swear word (see video above) to refer to a Labour member.

Police were also called to a full council meeting last April when Coun Gareth Fairhurst was kicked out for disobeying a mayoral request not to tweet.

Members really must respect the office of the Mayor and her decisions at the meeting

Letter sent to councillors

Councillors have also been reminded in the cheat sheet that proceedings are being filmed and that “iPads and their content can be viewed if in range of the camera.”

Politicians in other areas have been caught out when cameras have picked up on them playing games on their tablets during meetings.