Snell says pact 'being used to control council'

Published 11/06/2014 | 05:22

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Wicklow County Council voted on whether to take a short break or not at last Friday's meeting - the first of the newly elected council.

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Frustrated with the lack of appointments, Cllr. Tom Fortune looked for a break in the meeting when the appointment of 15 members to the Joint Policing Committee was raised.

At this stage, the grouping of Sinn Fein, the Green Party and some of the Independents had already lost the chair, the vice chair and four out of the five Strategic Policy Committee chairs, with Sinn Fein's John Snell the only one on that side of the house to receive a position having being elected unopposed as chairman of the housing and corporate estate SPC.

Cllr. Fortune said the voting pact between Fianna Fail, Fine Gael and some of the Independents is 'being used to control' the council in a certain way.

'We go through this charade all the time', he fumed. It's got to stop'.

He suggested having a break for ten minute break, saying he had made a fair request. Newly elected chairman of the council Cllr. Chris Fox said it was 'up to the members to decide'.

Cllr. Pat Vance said the public gallery was crowded and said the councillors had all received the agenda in plenty of time. Cllr. Fortune again called for a recess - a request which was seconded by Cllr. John Brady.

Following a vote a break was allowed by a margin of 21 votes to 11.

However when the members returned to the chamber senior executive officer Lorraine Gallagher said the council had been advised that new guidelines for the Joint Policing Committee were being drawn up and no members should be appointed until the guidelines were revised.

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