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BEXLEY: Council bans blogger who tried to film meeting without permission
4:59pm Wednesday 6th July 2011 in News
AN anti-Bexley Council blogger is to be banned from all Bexley’s council meetings after attempting to film one of its committee meetings without permission.
The blogger, known as “Olly Cromwell” has been attempting for some months to film council proceedings, despite being refused permission by the council.
Last week, a number of council critics, including the Bexley is Bonkers blogger Malcolm Knight and CCTV car campaigners No To Mob turned up at a public realm scrutiny meeting.
Police were called after one No To Mob member refused to remove his crash helmet and mask before entering the council chamber.
After discussions, during which police officers said there were no grounds to arrest the man or forcibly remove him from the council offices, he agreed to remove the helmet and mask and was allowed in.
But during the meeting, “Olly Cromwell” was spotted by one councillor filming proceedings from just outside the chamber.
The meeting was stopped for several minutes before the blogger was allowed back into the meeting with his camera firmly back in its case.
He later alleged the councillor had grabbed his arm and claimed assault, but no complaint has yet been lodged with Bexley police.
Now “Olly Cromwell” has received a letter from Bexley’s acting chief executive Peter Ellershaw, informing him because of his record of disruptive behaviour over several meetings, he will face a provisional ban from July 6.
He has been invited to make representations about the ban, which will be reviewed after six months.
Bexley recently changed its standing orders to prevent photographs or filming of council meetings without prior permission.
It says it will consider installing the necessary technology in the former Woolwich Building Society building, when it becomes the new council offices in two years’ time, to allow the council to webcast its own meetings.