Town council leader Sam Hoy dismisses seating row as ‘no big deal’ but opposition councillor Alan Lay felt it ‘a beautiful thing’

The scene at Wisbech town council on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay sat down in a seat normall

The scene at Wisbech town council on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay sat down in a seat normally occupied by majority Conservative councillors. His one man protest was disissed as 'no big deal' by the council leader Sam Hoy. - Credit: Archant

Town council leader Sam Hoy dismissed a fellow councillor’s protest over where members should sit as “no big deal”.

The scene at Wisbech town council on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay sat down in a seat normall

The scene at Wisbech town council on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay sat down in a seat normally occupied by majority Conservative councillors. His one man protest was disissed as 'no big deal' by the council leader Sam Hoy. - Credit: Archant

She was responding to the early arrival at Wisbech council chamber on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay plonked himself down 30 minutes early in a seat normally occupied by majority Conservative councillors.

Cllr Lay claimed the protest was staged to try and end politics in the chamber and he believes if everyone sat down where they liked this could make a difference.

“At parish meetings there should be no designated seating,” he said. “At other parish meetings I’ve attended as a county councillor people normally sit where they like.”

Cllr Hoy said in her seven years on Wisbech town council the opposition had always sat opposite the majority Conservative group.

The scene at Wisbech town council on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay sat down in a seat normall

The scene at Wisbech town council on Monday when UKIP councillor Alan Lay sat down in a seat normally occupied by majority Conservative councillors. His one man protest was disissed as 'no big deal' by the council leader Sam Hoy. - Credit: Archant


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“It’s always been like that – it’s only in the past few months some seemed keen to challenge it,” she said.

She claimed it was having the reverse affect and making political life in Wisbech even more divisive.

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“When it is all going to end?” she said.

Cllr Hoy said that Cllr Lay’s manoeuvre was “no big deal – he wanted to have his protest at the meeting and that’s it. People are trying to make more of it but in reality we just sat down and had our meeting”.

Cllr Lay, however, was delighted at the outcome and “it was beautiful seeing children playing games and deciding who could be king of the castle”.

He said other councillors had got wind of his protest, turning up half an hour before the start but he was one of the first still to arrive.

“Not one person from the opposition spoke although some glared – it was lovely,” he said.

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