BEXLEY Council's deputy leader defended the authority on a BBC programme after police were called over an attempt to record a meeting.

Councillor Colin Campbell appeared on BBC One’s Sunday Politics show on Sunday (July 7) after a government minister accused Bexley Council of wasting police time when officers were called to eject a member of the public who tried to audio record a meeting.

This follows News Shopper’s report on Nicholas Dowling’s ejection from a public realm, community safety, economic development and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee meeting on June 19.

The 42-year-old attempted to record the 7.30pm meeting in the council chamber, citing recent guidelines issued by local government secretary Eric Pickles that local authorities should allow the public to film meetings.

Cllr Campbell told presenter Tim Donovan: “It took the police an hour to get there which shows you how police resources are in London.

“You might say it’s not a good use of police resources but then you had a group of people who were being abusive and breaking up a meeting.”

Cllr Campbell said Bexley Council does allow filming but only with the prior consent of a meeting’s chairman which Mr Dowling had not sought.

He added the council is considering webcasting meetings once it moves into the old Woolwich building in Bexleyheath next year.

Bexley Council Labour group spokesman Cllr Sean Newman said: "We have no objection to anyone filming council meetings and think it's key to a transparent council.

"The whole thing is a pathetic example of control freakery and highlights once again that there's a democratic deficit at Bexley Council."