King’s Lynn councillor brands opponent ‘uncaring’ in housing row

Borough Councillor Ian Gourlay at Home for Health Feature ENGANL00120130813114741
Borough Councillor Ian Gourlay at Home for Health Feature ENGANL00120130813114741
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A Lynn councillor walked out of the chamber during last night’s West Norfolk Council meeting after branding a political rival “uncaring” in a row over housing.

Ahead of the meeting, housing portfolio holder Adrian Lawrence revealed that 29 people had been refused entry to the borough’s housing register during June, because they did not meet the council’s local connection criteria.

The rules require applicants to have lived in the borough for three of the past five years, or to have relatives to have lived there for five years.

The criteria also covers current members of the armed forces, or personnel who were discharged within the last five years, and people with special circumstances, such as severe social care or medical needs.

But Labour’s Ian Gourlay, who represents the Fairstead ward, asked if Mr Lawrence knew what had happened to the people who were rejected.

Mr Lawrence answered: “No I don’t and I wouldn’t discuss them in public.”

Mr Gourlay responded: “So you have no interest then? You’re an uncaring councillor.”

Council leader Nick Daubney called for the remark to be withdrawn, but Mr Gourlay said: “No I won’t withdraw it. I’ll leave the chamber.”

Following the departure, Mr Lawrence said: “All applications are confidential and I wouldn’t share them with any members of the public. Each application is brought forward on its own merit and we treat them with the respect they merit.”