When news happens, text LT and your photos and videos to 80360. Or contact us by email or phone.
Lib Dems storm out in Darwen heritage centre rumpus
LIBERAL Democrat councillors stormed out of the monthly meeting of Darwen Town Council in a row over a proposed heritage centre for the town.
They were furious that details of the idea, being looked into by Labour councillor Brian Taylor, were leaked to the Lancashire Telegraph before being discussed at a full council meeting.
Labour councillors insisted that, at this stage, it was purely a feasibility study and would have been taken to council when the proposal had been fully looked at.
As reported last week, councillors had been looking into opening Darwen Heritage Centre with a deal agreed in principle to buy the former HSBC bank in The Circus.
Liberal Democrat councillors Roy Davies, Paul Browne, Simon Huggill, John East and Vicky Rothwell marched into the meeting together and, after Coun Davies declared a point of order explaining his and his colleagues’ anger, they left the room.
In a statement, Coun Davies said: “The Liberal Democrat councillors on Darwen Town Council are supportive in principle of a heritage centre in Darwen. However, this matter has been given to the press before coming to Darwen Town Council in breach of the rules, practices, principles and procedures of the council.
“We are happy to take part in discussions to help develop such a project but not on the basis of one or two councillors doing it behind closed doors.
“This situation is so bad that we feel we have no alternative but to boycott this meeting.” In their absence, Coun Taylor said: “I still feel it is too early and lots of things can still go wrong with it.
“I wouldn’t have gone to the press with it at this point but that was taken out of my hands.
“At the moment, it is just a feasibility study, which we would always carry out before discussing it at a full council meeting.”
Later in the meeting, Liberal Democrat borough councillor Karimeh Foster slammed the Labour group.
She said: “The way you dealt with it is wrong. You did this without the knowledge of development committee chairman John East.”
Labour councillor Frank Connor replied: “We are entitled to come up with ideas and look into it before bringing it to the council meeting.”
Comments are closed on this article.