Brighton councillor vows to fight suspension

Posted On 11 Jul 2010 at 10:28 pm

A Brighton councillor is to appeal against his suspension after he was punished for posting a video clip of a council meeting on YouTube.

Councillor Jason Kitcat, who represents Regency for the Greens on Brighton and Hove City Council, was ruled to have broken the councillors’ code of conduct.

He posted a 12-second clip showing laughter at the expense of a member of Conservative cabinet member Councillor Geoffrey Theobald.

Councillor Theobald is pictured telling a council meeting in January last year: “Sometimes I wish I could have answered these questions.”

Above background laughter Councillor Garry Peltzer Dunn, who was Mayor at the time and chairing the meeting, said: “So do I, but we have to move on.”

It was ruled that the “highly edited” clip was “used improperly for political purposes”.

The clip can be seen here.

Video of Councillor Geoffrey Theobald

The reason that Councillor Theobald could not answer the questions was because the members of the public who were due to put the questions were not present.

Councillor Kitcat’s suspension follows a complaint from Councillor Ted Kemble, a Conservative.

He complained about four other video clips too showing questions from Councillor Kitcat to Councillor Theobald and fellow Tory, council leader Mary Mears, about the council’s controversial communal bins policy.

He said that the Green had “failed to treat his fellow councillors with respect by posting the clips without the prior knowledge or express permission of Councillor Theobald or Councillor Mears”.

He also said that Councillor Kitcat “had abused council facilities by infringing the copyright in the webcast images”.

Those complaints were dismissed.

But Councillor Kitcat has been suspended until he sends a written apology to Councillor Theobald.

However, he has 28 days to appeal and on his blog he wrote: “I shall be fighting this case at an appeal tribunal.

“It has been a complete waste of council officer time and money investigating this matter.”

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