Order broke down at Cambridge City Council on the 14th of April 2016 when the usually polite leader of the Liberal Democrat group Cllr Tim Bick rudely insulted Labour’s Cllr Ann Sinnott.
Cllr Bick said:
When Cllr Sinnott stands up, and really I wish someone would blow something between her ears sometimes…
Quite what Cllr Bick meant isn’t clear; perhaps he was suggesting Cllr Sinnott lacks a brain between her ears and needs one blowing in, or perhaps he meant to suggest that Cllr Sinnott needs to listen more carefully so needs her ears blowing to clean them out. Alternatively perhaps Cllr Bick was envisaging someone exploding something inside Cllr Sinnott’s head to stop her speaking.
A Labour member raised a point of order saying:
Excuse me, Mr Mayor, a point of order, I think that’s wholly uncalled for
The leader of the council, Labour’s Lewis Herbert, interjected to call Cllr Bick’s comments:
A Cameron style remark, outrageous.
Deputy leader of the council, Labour’s Carina O’Reilly, led her comrades in a chorus of: “Withdraw! Withdraw!”.
Mayor Cllr Dryden said:
When we started off this evening I did ask respect for each other, for members … I don’t know if you want to apologise?
Cllr Bick’s response was:
I don’t wish to apologise
Cllr George Owers, who has been a history student and Labour’s Executive Councillor for Finance and Resources, used the outbreak of disorder to make his last contribution to Cambridge City Council before standing down as a councillor in May. Owers interjected from his very sedentary position on the Labour benches:
Oh F*** OFF
Councillors were debating rough sleeping in the city, but as Cambridge’s residents have mostly elected party politicians there was more partisan bickering than sensible discussion of how to help those sleeping rough in the city, and how to reduce the number of people who end up sleeping outside, under bridges, in doorways, and in tents in Cambridge.
Cllr Sinnott defended Labour’s record on tackling rough sleeping saying her group was already doing a lot, including developing a “Homelessness Strategy and Action Plan” and said: “there is a core of mainly men, who will not engage with services and do not want to be re-homed” adding “they are entrenched, they are immovable”. What incensed Cllr Bick was Cllr Sinnott’s suggestion that the Liberal Democrats were scurrilously blaming Labour, or Council officers.
Cllr Bick said:
When she says the motion is about “blaming Labour or the officers and that is scurrilous”, Where did that come from? From any contribution on this side of the chamber? Where did it come from? There is some advice of a sense of masochism on the other side of this chamber some desire to have an argument which is not being made.