A special meeting was due to take place this evening regarding the Judicial Review of the North West 200 Luxury Hotel and Spa Development. Councillors met at 6pm but walked out of the meeting citing anti-democratic action of the Mayor.
Speaking on behalf of the DUP, Deputy Mayor Trevor Clarke said “Earlier this evening the Mayor of Causeway Borough Council – Sinn Féin’s Brenda Chivers – disregarded the outcome of a Council vote, prompting our party group and others to leave the Chamber, rendering the meeting inquorate.
The item for discussion included sensitive legal information and could not be discussed in public as doing so would have contradicted independent legal advice.
Accordingly, it was proposed and seconded Council proceed ‘into committee’, meaning the meeting would have continued with no press or public present.
The vote was taken and the motion duly carried. However instead of moving proceedings ‘into committee’ the Mayor directed that debate continue in open forum.
Tonight Mayor Chivers has succeeded in vividly illustrating Sinn Fein’s contempt for democracy and her party’s total and utter lack of respect for the proper process.”
UUP Councillor Joan Baird said “At tonight’s special meeting the Mayor totally disregarded the Standing Orders and the will of the elected Members.
A vote was taken to go into Committee, the vote was carried and then the Mayor proceeded to ignore the outcome.
In other words, the Mayor continued to totally disregard the outcome of the vote. Local Government is built on the foundation of democracy and sadly that principle has been undermined tonight.”
No business was carried out.