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Community centre cash sparks ANOTHER council bust-up
7:00am Thursday 21st March 2013 in News
A FIERCE row was sparked at Town Hall over the planned £165,000 renovation of a community centre.
Brentwood Council leader Louise McKinlay clashed with opposition councillors including Lib Dem leader David Kendall over plans for Hutton Community Centre at a Policy, Projects and Rescources meeting.
Funds of £165,000 have been set aside by the authority to invest into the building in Harrison Close to be refurbished.
Mrs McKinlay, who chairs the committee, suspended the meeting early after she and Mr Kendall argued over questions the Lib Dem councillor had asked about the project.
After the meeting the Lib Dem group sent out a press release slamming the council leader’s chairmanship, accusing her of pulling faces and turning off opposition members’ microphones.
However, Mrs McKinlay has hit back saying it had been explained why the board would not discuss Mr Kendall’s queries, adding other Lib Dem councillors have apologised to her over their leader’s actions.
She said: “Individually, members of the opposition group have spoken to me and I have even received an apology for Mr Kendall’s conduct.
“Their discomfort at the way the Lib Dem group, under Mr Kendall’s leadership, is operating in opposition, was clear to see.”
Mrs McKinlay added: “During the meeting, the opposition just completely rejected the basic rules of debate. It was just like a bearpit.
“The behaviour of members such as David Kendall was more like a three-year-old in kindergarten – it was an embarrassment to be associated with them.”
When asked about the apology, Mr Kendall said he was unaware of any his colleagues having an issue with his actions.
Mr Kendall said: “It is news to me. If someone from the Lib Dems has got a problem then they haven’t told me.
“I think the way the meeting was handled was a bit stupid really, so I think for her [McKinlay] to start casting aspersions against me is silly. She needs to look at herself in the mirror.”