‘Sorry for outburst against Croft School campaigner,’ says Swindon council leader (From This Is Wiltshire)
‘Sorry for outburst against Croft School campaigner,’ says Swindon council leader
SWINDON Council’s leader, Rod Bluh, has apologised to Croft School campaigner, Kareen Boyd after “losing it” and branding her a NIMBY during Thursday’s full council meeting.
Coun Bluh (Con, Old Town) said he told Mrs Boyd that she only cared about what she could see out of her window, and not about children’s education, after she shouted out a comment on the controversial school, from the public gallery of the Civic Offices, in Euclid Street.
He claims Mrs Boyd and other residents in the gallery had already been asked several times to keep quiet and his response provoked her to make further comments, which resulted in her being asked to leave by mayor Coun Mick Bray.
Coun Bray said she refused, so he threatened to call security unless she went voluntarily.
He adjourned the meeting for 15 minutes to give her the opportunity to leave, which she eventually did.
Member of the public do not have the right to speak at full council except when asking questions during public question time.
The incident took place at about 10pm during a debate on a motion, later withdrawn, about the council’s level of borrowing a decade ago, which provoked Coun Bluh to mention the funding of Croft School.
Speaking after the meeting, Coun Bluh said: “When I said we had to borrow the money to built Croft, she said: ‘Waste of money in the wrong place.’ “What I said was ‘Unfortunately Mrs Boyd only cares about what she sees out of her window rather than the children that need educating.’ “In other words, I called her a NIMBY, which means ‘Not In My Back Yard’.”
Coun Bluh said he was subsequently cross with himself for losing his cool, retracted his comment, apologised to the council and intended to apologise to Mrs Boyd, whom he said needed to get elected if she wanted to speak at meetings.
“I lost it, I’m sorry, I just lost it,” said Coun Bluh, who has been the council leader for eight and a half years.
“I was so angry with what she said I just lost it and I snapped.
“I cannot believe I did that, because in eight and a half years I have never done that, I have always managed to bite my lip, but for whatever reason last night it didn’t work.”
Mrs Boyd said: “I was shocked I was treated in that way. I have received an email from Coun Bluh and I have contacted the mayor to ask for clarification of what happened after I was asked to leave.
“I’m considering the mayor’s response and I will get back to him.”
Commenting on her decision to react to Coun Bluh’s NIMBY claim, she said: “Coun Bluh named me and made personal allegations against me. I have a right of reply.”
Coun Bray said: “The point is, I warned people in the public gallery before that there was too much noise coming from the public gallery and if this was to continue I would clear the public gallery.
“I also I asked her twice to sit down and she didn’t, she continued, so I asked her to leave and she refused and I said if she didn’t leave voluntarily I would call security.”