Police called and councillor handed 18-month ban after outburst

Livestream shot of the Maldon District Council meeting - councillor Chrisy Morris is on the left. 

Livestream shot of the Maldon District Council meeting - councillor Chrisy Morris is on the extreme left. - Credit: Youtube and Maldon District Council. Permission for use for all LDRS partners.

Police were called to a council meeting after a community leader made an outburst and refused to leave when told to do so.

Councillor Chrisy Morris (Ind, Heybridge West) repeatedly shouted “point of order” over other councillors at Maldon District Council and has now been banned from all meetings for 18 months.

Some councillors cheered as a police officer arrived and told Mr Morris he was “breaching the peace”.

Councillors voted to remove him from the meeting on Thursday, November 4, but he refused to leave.

They also voted to ban him from appearing on any committees or working groups until May 2023.

After only half an hour, councillors walked out and closed the meeting early in protest of Mr Morris’ behaviour.

Mr Morris claimed he had a democratic right to speak at the meeting.

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He said: “I have every right to speak here, I’ve been elected.

“I’ve been elected. This is democracy. You might not like me but you’ve got to listen to me.”

Council chair Mark Heard (Ind, Maldon West) asked officers to leave after the outburst began.

He said: “We are at the situation that I have to look at the duty of care that this council has towards those members of the staff.”

The meeting started with a minute’s silence, during which Mr Morris could be heard to say “it should be upstanding, one minute’s silence upstanding.”

Afterwards, he started to shout “point of order” over the chair.

The council were due to debate items on the district’s local development plan, approving One Maldon District and setting a new council tax base.

But none of these could be discussed or voted on because of the disruption.

The meeting went into private session in an attempt to solve the issue.

After the meeting was brought back into session, Mr Morris still refused to leave. Mr Heard then asked councillors to rise and walk out in protest before closing the meeting.

Mr Morris also appeared to be recording the meeting himself on a mobile phone.