December 10 2013 Latest news:
Tuesday, October 29, 2013
A cabinet member has rejected a call to resign over remarks he made about the validity of referendum into the proposed Norfolk incinerator.
At the crunch meeting over the future of the project, Mick Castle described a vote held in West Norfolk - during which more than 92pc of those who took part rejected the burner - as “dodgy”.
His comments provoked cries of: “You liar!” from people in the public gallery, while Labour councillor Alexandra Kemp had to be told to sit down after standing up and shouting repeatedly at Mr Castle to take his remarks back.
After the meeting WNBC leader Nick Daubney called Mr Castle’s comments “disgraceful”.
Mr Daubney added: “For a senior member of the county council to call the poll dodgy was frankly unbelievable. You can’t fling accusations around in a responsible debate like that.
“I have never met him and I don’t want to meet him. I can’t believe he thought it or said it. I think he should resign.”
However Mr Castle, who represents the Yarmouth North and Central division for Labour and is cabinet member for schools, labelled the suggestion that he should quit as “laughable”, saying it was his opinion that the vote was one-sided.
Former WNBC Labour group leader Charles Joyce said he thought Mr Castle should have withdrawn his remarks at the meeting and should now apologise for what he said.
Mr Joyce said: “We can all make a slip of the tongue, especially in the heat of the debate. He should apologise to the people who ran the referendum and those who voted in it.”
Mr Castle also attracted criticism for calling North-West Norfolk MP Henry Bellingham “nice but dim”. He withdrew the remarks under the insistence of Norfolk County Council chairman Hilary Cox.
“Maybe that is the level of debate that man is used to,” Mr Daubney said.