Open to Question
When several readers tell us the same thing that could bring a councillor into disrepute what are we to do? To come straight out with the story we could be accused of being biased. To ignore it, the same thing could be said by those drawing it to our attention
The reports revolve around a councillor who allegedly 'plays' with his mobile phone during council meetings, giving the impression that his phone has priority over council proceedings.
We understand this behaviour also occurs in the House of Commons, so maybe this councillor is just following bad examples by those who should know better. The question is: "Should mobile phones be switched off at these places and be banned from use?" Surely text messages can wait until sessions are over? In our opinion, matters under discussion should never be distracted by mobile phones.
Will the councillor concerned be brave enough to stand up and make a declaration?
It is pretty obvious that many councillors already know who he is. Hiding the fact from the public will definately not be to his credit - because word gets around, that's how we know.
Just for the record, one MP is already in the public domain over using his mobile phone in Parliament - which puts our report in prespective. We quote:
"Cambridge MP Julian Huppert has spoken out after he was accused of not paying attention in the House of Commons.
Dr Huppert explained that he always pays attention in the chamber “if it’s relevant and interesting” after he was named and shamed in the national media along with three other MPs for using his smartphone while MP Alec Shelbrooke was speaking."
We think that this report alone justifies our mention of a similar thing going on at local level.