Council meeting ends in ‘chaos with physical attack’

Liberal Democrat leader Jason Zadrozny has played down an alleged attack by a member of his party against three Labour councillors at county council meeting this week.
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Coun John Clarke has made a formal complaint about Lib Dem Stan Heptinstall who allegedly attacked him with a rolled-up agenda at the end of last Thursday’s full council meeting.

He took to Twitter to make this complaint: “Nottinghamshire County Council meeting ends in chaos with physical attack by Lib Dem County Cllr on three Labour County Councillors.”

Coun Clarke, Labour county councillor for Carlton East, who is also leader of Gedling Borough Council, said he and two other members were assaulted at the meeting in Kelham Hall, Newark.

Coun Stan Heptinstall MBE, county councillor for Bramcote and Stapleford, told the Chad: “I am very grateful indeed that my three Labour colleagues have accepted my apology.”

Mr Zadrozny, who is Lib Dem prospective parliamentary candidate for Ashfield, and group leader on Ashfield district and Nottinghamshire county councils, said: “Politics is a passionate business and sometimes tempers fray.

“Let’s be quite clear, the Labour councillors concerned are using this incident to score political points.

“Coun Heptinstall has apologised to the councillors.

“I hope that they in turn apologise for voting against restoring much needed buses in places like Stanton Hill and Skegby. That for me is more of a sin that brushing someone with a dog eared agenda.”

Mick Burrows, chief executive of NCC, said: “Councillors have significant responsibilities as they work hard to represent the interests of local people. Inevitably at times tensions arise over debates and decisions when there are political differences.

“I am aware of an incident that took place at the Full Council meeting yesterday in respect of which a Councillor has already personally apologised to the Councillors affected.

“However, I have since received a formal complaint and have now referred this to the Monitoring Officer to investigate.”