Cumbernauld councillor is turfed out of council chambers by provost in recording row

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Cumbernauld councillor Alan O’Brien has been ejected from council chambers for recording a meeting held on Thursday.

The Scottish Nationalist-turned-independent said that he wanted to show that he was being heckled and undermined by Provost James Robertson each time he spoke.

This was with a view to providing evidence against the provost at the council’s very own standards commission.

The war of words between the two men hit headlines after the councillor was barred from asking a question about payment for road safety measures near Craiglinn Interchange.

Now it has escalated after Councillor O’Brien was told to leave a full meeting at Civic Centre.

Although there is no mention of a recording ban in standing orders, it is viewed as a breach of protocol within the chambers.

The irate councillor said: “For some time now the Labour provost has gone to some extraordinary lengths to stop me doing my job of representing the people of Cumbernauld.

“I informed the Standards Commission that I would be taping my contributions to provide evidence.

“There are absolutely no rules prohibiting recordings and many other councils even provide recordings of their meetings.

“On Thursday, he repeatedly and aggressively interrupted every attempt I made to speak. When he was made aware that his oafish unprofessional conduct was being recorded he had me ejected.

“However, I now have the evidence that I need for the commission,’’ he said.

The Cumbernauld News managed to catch up with the Provost to hear his side of the story before he joined a council-led trip to Malawi which was scheduled to leave this week.

He told us: “In the 23 years I have been a councillor recording has never taken place.

“I repeatedly asked Councillor O’Brien to stop recording me, he refused and therefore he was ejected. I had no choice in the matter.

When asked if he had singled out and heckled Councillor O’Brien the provost replied: “If you constantly break the rules as he has done, he has constantly got to be stopped.”