Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Caebrwyn Fights Back

I am, as I have said, very pleased with the filming and transparency debates that have been sparked by the actions of the police and the Council on 8th June. However, that doesn't address what happened to me on that day. I am making a formal complaint against Dyfed Powys Police in the very near future.

As for the Council; on the 27th June I asked the Chief Executive for an apology, to myself , on behalf of the Council - so far he has not had the decency to acknowledge my email. I am now emailing the Chairman, Cllr Ivor Jackson (I am assuming he is familiar with a 'computer') and asking for an apology (see below)

I am certain that both he and the Chief Executive, Mark James did more in those few minutes to bring Carmarthenshire County Council into disrepute than anything or anyone else has done for the past ten years. I also find it astonishing that the Police were instructed to remove me whether I was filming or not. The Chairman was prompted throughout by the Chief Executive, apart from the fact that the Chief Executive should not be Chairing the meeting, neither should he abuse his power via the coercive powers of the police.

I would also like the published minutes relating to the incident reworded, and an apology.
I hope I will have the support of some of the more reasonably minded Councillors over this.

I shall be attending the meeting on the 13th July, regardless of bans, undertakings or other non-binding attempts to prevent my legitimate access to the public gallery. If no apology is forthcoming I will pursue other avenues of redress.

To Cllr Ivor Jackson, Chairman, Carmarthenshire County Council

With reference to the incident at the meeting of the 8th June, I would like to ask you, as Chairman of the Council to make an apology to myself on behalf of the Chief Executive, Mr Mark James and Carmarthenshire County Council. I am also asking for Minute 7 from the meeting of 8th June to be re-worded, and a similar apology offered. I believe these are reasonable requests under the circumstances.

Although I welcome the Council's recent press comments promising to consider livestreaming meetings I would like assurance that procedures are now in place to prevent such an unfortunate incident happening again. I would also like reassurance that if any members of the public, including myself, wishes to quietly film, record or tweet from a public meeting they will be allowed to do so unhindered.

I quote the published minutes (which clearly refer to myself);


At this point in the proceedings the meeting was adjourned for 15 minutes in order to secure the removal of a disruptive member of the public from the public gallery."

I believe it was the unlawful actions of both the Chair and the Chief Executive which led to the interruption of proceedings and my subsequent arrest and loss of liberty. I was not, as my video evidence proves, 'disruptive'. I would like an apology for such a serious breach to my human rights.

It is also very worrying that the Police were told I was to be removed, whether I was filming or not, I would like to know the justification for this.

I ask you to please respond to this request. If no apology is forthcoming I shall pursue this matter through a different avenue.

I would be grateful if you could issue this apology at the next full meeting of the Council on the 13th July 2011, and I am also giving you advanced notice that I shall be attending the public gallery, as is my legitimate right, at the next meeting, to witness the proceedings.

Yours sincerely
Jacqui Thompson

UPDATE; No word today from Cllr Jackson, but I have recieved an email from Chief Executive, Mark James, in reply to my request for an apology sent on 27th June. Suffice to say it is looking extremely unlikely that I will be getting any sort of apology. There could also be an interesting situation when I attend the meeting next Wednesday. I think I need to get some legal advice on the correspondence between Mr James and myself following the incident on the 8th June - oddly, the email has been marked 'Legal Priviledge'.


Cneifiwr said...

Well done, Caebrwyn. It will be very interesting to see what the IPCC has to say about this.

I also hope that as many of your readers and supporters as possible will go along to the meeting on 13 July.

Teifion said...

I hope all the papers and TV know when you're going to this meeting, I assume the council and the police will not be acting illegally this time although it might be interesting if you made a citizens arrest(the Police for kidnapping and the chairman for conspiracy in the event)

Mrs Angry said...

As you have a lawful right to attend council meetings, why not ask your local police to accompany you and ensure that you are able to exercise that right?

Photon said...

I wish you luck. Not least because you'll need it in order to get an apology as you are rightly demanding.

Paul said...

I like your style. Make sure somebody's filming YOU when you attend. How pathetic are these councillors? They're turning pomposity into an art form

The Bald Eagle said...

A member of the NoToMob had a similar problem at a Bexley Council meeting recently where the chair of the public meeting he wanted to attend, appears to have exceeded her authority. They called the police on him and this is what followed.


The NoToMob's attention was drawn to Bexley Council because of what happened to Mr Peaple, who is featured in the article below.