Nov 13 2012 By Hannah Bewley
ANOTHER council meeting was disrupted last night when protesters refused to leave the room despite measures to regulate access.
Chanting broke out in the meeting room where the Executive at Brent Council had met from campaigners for the Counihan family and the members fled to the marriage room on the ground floor.
Despite having a ticket system in place and a police presence in the building councillors moved to the smaller room, and members of the public were unable to gain access.
Martin Francis, a member of Brent Green Party, was issued a ticket for the meeting but was not permitted to enter, which took place behind a secure door.
The Counihan family have been appealing to Brent Council to reconsider their housing situation after they were moved from Brent to Ealing and they have disrupted numerous meetings with vocal campaigners.
Peter Goss, manager of Democratic Services at Brent Council, said that tickets were issued merely to count people in and ensure the Executive meeting was not overcrowded.
Speaking after the short meeting he said: "We weren't sure how many people who were coming along. We had tickets in case there were more than that meeting room could accommodate. Ordinarily with such a protest it would be stopped and the meeting would be allowed to proceed. When it is clear it a demonstration will take place we have to facilitate the meeting taking place elsewhere."
The incident follows a Full Council meeting which took place on September 10 which was disrupted in a similar fashion and moved to the same room.
Mr Goss added: "I am sorry to hear someone didn't get in, they shouldn't have been stopped as such, but unfortunately it spoils it for everyone and we had to make a move down here. If people have a petition for a certain item on the agenda we would have made sure they were here as they all have a part to play in the meeting. Last time we got a bit lax and that's how it happened. We were caught out. I don't know what will be the next step though."