LETTER: ‘Appalled’ at debacle at Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel meeting

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EDITOR - I am appalled at the debacle that happened at the meeting of the Police and Crime Panel held at East Lindsey District Council.

It was always going to be a contentious meeting as the agenda was to investigate the Police Commisioner’s actions in relation to the suspension of the Acting Chief Constable.

The press were there in force, Calendar News, Look North, Radio 4, Louth Leader to name but a few.

There were also a considerable number of members of the public who wished to observe the meeting which was due to start at 1pm.

I arrived at 12.45pm and was asked to wait as I was a bit early. Members of staff came down and took the press members upstairs to the council chamber and we were assured that we would be taken up shortly.

One of the people waiting was a member of the panel but he was also told to wait until somebody fetched us.

We were then told that the pre-meeting (not open to the public) was still going on; time now about 12.50pm

At 1.15pm we were escorted up to the chamber and told that the meeting had started promptly at 1pm. As we reached the chamber we were told the meeting had finished. It is now 1.17pm.

This is totally unacceptable.

Of course, profuse apologies were offered over the ‘administrative failure’.

This is not right. A pre-meeting had obviously already decided the outcome of the ‘open’ meeting and any thought of openness and transparency was disregarded.

The police commissioner is a democratically appointed post. We the public have the right to be involved. The Police and Crime Panel are a disgrace.

CHERYL WARWICK

Local resident and chairman of Saltfleetby Parish Council