Cllr Jonathan Bacon.
ISLE of Wight Tories were branded anti-democratic for blocking debate on the multi-million pound highways PFI last night (Thursday).
Independent councillor Chris Welsford brought a motion before the full council, claiming the decision to award the contract to Vinci Concessions breached the Isle of Wight Council constitution because it was made without full knowledge of the facts.
He said important information about the need for an asphalt plant to deliver the PFI contract was not disclosed when the decision was made in May.
However, the debate came to a grinding halt after Cllr Barry Abraham moved to use a procedural rule to skip to the next agenda item without further discussion.
The Tory councillor’s motion was passed by 19 votes to nine, prompting a brief walk out by independents and anger from the public gallery.
Cllr Jonathan Bacon, who wanted to speak at the meeting but was prevented by the sudden guillotine, said afterwards: "This is ridiculous. The Conservative administration cannot face having any form of sensible debate about its approach to running this council.
"To block debate and discussion not only suggests they are undemocratic but also they have something to hide."
Before the debate ended, council leader Cllr David Pugh said the PFI was not dependent on the contractor setting up an asphalt plant and the planning application for Medina Wharf and the highways PFI were entirely separate processes.
"The plant wasn’t part of their bid or a requirement of the contract," he said.