Message from Carlisle...
PRESS STATEMENT SEPTEMBER 26 2011:
COUNCILLOR GAGGED US SAYS COMMUNITY GROUP
A community group has accused a Carlisle city councillor of gagging it to stop it representing its members, it was revealed today.
A complaint has been made to the city council by the group, Carlisle and Rural Tenants' Federation. The Federation complaint says that Councillor Nan Farmer refused to allow a Federation representative to speak at a meeting called to discuss a dispute between Riverside Housing Association and its Carlisle leaseholders.
The Federation representative had been asked to attend the meeting by some leaseholders who are members of the Federation. But the Federation representative was not allowed to say a word and in a dictatorial fashion was ordered to leave the meeting.
The Federation complaint says that following that meeting it was also gagged a second time - this time by the city council. The second gagging came after Councillor Farmer made incorrect and unsubstantiated complaints about the Federation to the council.
As a result of these complaints the council blocked all emails from the Federation to the council.
The Federation complaint says that at another meeting of leaseholders Councillor Farmer tried four times to get the Federation to leave. But this time the representative refused.
A Federation spokesman said today: 'The Federation has represented former council house tenants and leaseholders for dozens of years - long before Riverside appeared on the scene - and this is the first time we have been gagged at a public meeting.
'We are used to Riverside`s deplorable ways of shutting us up .They have done it in the past and continue to do so because they don`t like us representing our members.
'But it now appears that Councillor Farmer is doing Riverside`s work for it and she also is trying to keep out the Federation.
'Councillor Farmer is leader of the city council's Liberal Democrats. If she really believes in Lib Dem values she shouldn't be in the gagging business'
Issued by Carlisle and Rural Tenants` Federation