Press and public barred from Silica Lodge talks at Scunthorpe Civic Centre
Members of the press and public were barred from attending the petition hearing, held at the Civic Centre.
Ian Sharp was among the members of the public refused entry. He said: "I went to the Civic Centre to listen to the presentation of the petition against the Silica site by the people of Brumby.
"I was appalled to be told at reception that this meeting wasn't open to the public.
"I gather the chair of the meeting said later this had been a misunderstanding and he was unaware of the fact that there were people wanting to come in. This begs the question as to who had instructed the receptionist to turn people away."
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Councillor Steve Swift attended as a Bottesford ward councillor. He said: "It is disgraceful that members of the press and public have been barred from the democratic process on this important community issue.
"The issues surrounding Silica Park Nature Reserve have attracted great public concern and been aired in a number of other public meetings so there was no need to alienate them at this stage in the game. They could have been given consent to attend by the chairman of the meeting."
But a council spokesman said: "Petition hearings are meetings where petitioners can speak about the contents of their petition in an informal setting with elected members and officers of the council.
"On that basis, the press and general public have always been excluded from these meetings."