Minority did not want cuts meeting to take place

Most people realise that the blame for public spending cuts – and the fact that Islington has been hit really hard – lies entirely with the Tory/Lib-Dem coalition Government.

At the council meeting last week, many of those who attended were genuinely unhappy about our decisions. We will keep talking to them about how best we can cope together with these difficult times.

But a small group were present whose goal was evidently to prevent the meeting taking place at all. An organised attempt to prevent the council taking its decisions is new and very disturbing.

The Mayor gave a warning that continued disruption would result in an adjournment and the gallery being cleared, so it is clear that this was the outcome which some of those present wanted.

It was unfortunate that some with genuine concerns also had to be required to leave and their democratic right to observe meetings was regrettably curtailed; our dialogue with them will continue.

Labour in Islington will remain in the leadership of the anti-cuts campaign, and redouble our efforts to ensure a maximum turnout for the national demonstration on March 26. This is the best response to the tiny minority who demonstrated their contempt for the democratic process. – Councillor Phil Kelly, chief whip, Islington Council.