What happened at South Tyneside Council's full council meeting

Accusations of a ‘tantrum’ thrown by town hall chiefs kicked off another fractious meeting of South Tyneside Council.

Friday, 25th October 2019, 2:09 pm
Updated Friday, 25th October 2019, 8:17 pm
South Tyneside Council

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.

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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.

Highlights included:

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.