What happened at South Tyneside Council's full council meeting
The Thursday, October 24, session at South Shields Town Hall saw council leader Iain Malcolm called to apologise for comments made at last month’s meeting in a debate over social housing.
The row between Labour and independent councillors played out in front of a public gallery packed with supporters of the Save South Tyneside Hospital campaign.
Independent councillor John Robertson demanded official minutes of the previous full council meeting (Thursday, September 5) be amended to include details of a ‘tantrum’ by council leader Iain Malcolm.He also requested Coun Malcolm apologise to the public gallery ‘on camera’.The mayor, Coun Norman Dick, who chaired the meeting, refused. A series of changes to the council’s constitution were agreed, although this did not include a proposal from the council’s Constitution Committee to allow councillors to back motions to full council by email. Coun Malcolm said this was to ‘avoid a repeat of what happened in the past, where a member’s name was added without her permission’. A merger between the Northumberland County Council Pension Fund and the Tyne and Wear Pension Fund was agreed. A question from a member of the public on reports Japanese firm Hitachi, which has a factory in County Durham, has missed out on the chance to provide a planned new fleet of Metro trains was read.But no answer was given in the meeting and a written response will be sent instead. An opposition motion calling on the council to oppose any loan to the NHS which could ‘facilitate a further loss of services from [South Tyneside District Hospital]’ was amended by the Labour group before being passed. Opposition demands for a named vote on the proposal were rejected and it passed by a show of hands.