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Council's chief executive hits back on Conservative 'gagging' claim

Author: 
John Freeman
Mark Cullinan, Lancaster City Council’s chief executive, has responded to claims from Conservative councillor Roger Mace that he was effectively 'gagged' from speaking on a proposal to consider take action on the escalating costs of Lancaster Market, which might include a move to the City Museum at last week's Full Council meeting (see news story).

“Following the proposal of the motion on Lancaster Market by Councillor Peter Williamson, a procedural motion was proposed by Councillor Jon Barry to go straight to the vote," Mr Cullinan told virtual-lancaster.

“Once a closure motion has been proposed and seconded it has to be dealt with before any other amendment can be considered, as set out in the council’s rules of procedure.

“The mayor, Councillor Tony Wade, as chairman of the meeting, did, however, ask if any councillor wished to speak against the motion. As no councillor indicated that they wished to do so, the procedural motion was put to the vote and was carried.

“As a result, Council procedures provided no further opportunity for any amendment from any councillor.”

The full minute from the meeting reads as follows:

NOTICE OF MOTION - LANCASTER MARKET

The following motion, of which notice had been given to the Chief Executive in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 15, was moved by Councillor Williamson and seconded by Councillor Histed:

“This Council considers that the current cost of Lancaster indoor market based in the Market Building, estimated at £500k per annum and increasing, is unacceptable and that action to reduce these costs is required.”

Councillor Barry put forward a procedural motion, seconded by Councillor Kerr:

“That the motion be put straight to the vote.”

The Mayor then asked Council if any Members wished to speak against the motion. As no Member indicated, the Mayor put the procedural motion to Council.

A vote was taken on the procedural motion. With many voting for and few against, the Mayor declared the procedural motion to be clearly carried and asked that a vote be taken on the original motion.

A vote was then taken on the original motion without further debate. With many Members voting for the motion and few against, the Mayor declared the motion clearly carried.

Resolved: This Council considers that the current cost of Lancaster indoor market based in the Market Building, estimated at £500k per annum and increasing, is unacceptable and that action to reduce these costs is required.
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