ARUN District Council has been accused of being ‘unprepared’ after hundreds of people were turned away from its housing meeting yesterday (Wednesday, January 8) because it was full.
The full council meeting provoked an arguably unprecendented strength of public feeling.
Disorder threatened to break out as hundreds of people were turned away from Arun District Council’s offices in Littlehampton before the meeting had even started, having been told by council chairman Terence Chapman the public gallery was full.
This caused many in the crowd to question why the council had not been more prepared for their numbers, either by broadcasting the meeting online or opening up more seating to the public.
In total, 247 people who were unable to get into the meeting signed their names on a piece of paper, but there were others who were unable to get into the council building at all.
As tempers rose, and calls were made for senior council officers to resign over a situation many described as ‘shambolic’, a police officer was called to control the crowd.
Angela Tester is co-secretary of Littlehampton Flood Action Group and was one of those unable to watch the meeting.
She said: “It was very disappointing that they were not prepared and had no idea of the concern of the local people they were affecting.”
For the full story and reaction from the meeting, read the January 16 edition of the Littlehampton Gazette.