Year-long protests continue at Peterborough City Council as public gallery reopens

Protests at Peterborough City Council have now reached the year mark as the public gallery finally reopened.

Protesters were outside the Town Hall for Wednesday night’s Full Council meeting to voice their opposition to Cllr Andy Coles, the Conservative member for Fletton and Woodston, due to his past as a spy cop who infiltrated animal liberation groups.

Protesters outside the Town Hall before the Full Council meeting

Protesters outside the Town Hall before the Full Council meeting

The protests first began at Full Council in July 2017 which led to the meeting being postponed and the public gallery being closed.

Subsequent meetings went ahead with nobody allowed inside the public gallery amid fears from the police that it would be unsafe to clear the area should a further disturbance take place.

Instead, the meetings have been streamed by the council in a room inside the Town Hall and on its Facebook page.

Now, a transparent screen has been put up to stop people from falling over the edge of the public gallery, although the meetings continue to be streamed on Facebook.

Wednesday night’s meeting saw police and security guards at the Town Hall due to fears the protesters would try to disrupt proceedings from the newly opened gallery, but instead they handed out leaflets and talked with the public and councillors.

Rob Alexander, Local Democracy Reporting Service