There’s been a plea for the reinstatement of the prayer before full meetings of Wealden District Council. The tradition was abandoned by the council’s new Green Party chairman, Cllr Christina Coleman who cited reasons for her actions.
Today (Weds 19 July) the Conservative group leader, Cllr Ann Newton, gained reassurance from the council Leader, Cllr James Partridge, that he would review the matter and consult all political group leaders to canvass their thoughts.
Cllr Newton said she found it hard to believe that the Chairman had received “numerous complaints” about the prayer in her very short time in post. “I never received any in my 16 years on this council”, said Cllr Newton (Framfield).
The chairman’s decision was cited as “unfair” since she consulted only with Alliance colleagues and not other members of the district authority. This decision was therefore “not democratic”, maintained Cllr Newton
Cllr Newton called into question the impartiality of the chairman’s action to change established procedures at the behest of only one political group and possibly contrary to the council’s constitution.
Referring to the way that today’s meeting began, Cllr Newton dismissed it as “not right or proper” and called it “patronising”. She said she believed that a prayer, possibly, probably non-secular was the way to begin Wealden’s meeting.