Camden all fired up for riotous library meeting

CAMDEN Council took steps to stop hot-headed residents from taking their anger out on councillors at a meeting about libraries by banning glass bottles and bottle tops.

Residents who attended the town hall on Monday night to hear a deputation from bestselling author Deborah Moggach on why Camden should keep its 13 libraries open were asked to remove the tops of plastic bottles before entering the chamber.

Security staff searched all visitors’ bags, confiscated glass bottles and tops of plastic bottles. This was to deter any passionate library supporters from using full water bottles as a missile.

Ruth Montague, who lives off Keats Grove, was surprised to see the council using tactics more commonly used to police football matches at a public meeting.

“You’d have to be pretty aggressive to throw a bottle and have a good aim to actually hit anyone from where I was sitting,” she said.

But a Camden Council spokesman defended the tactic, saying: “The removal of bottle tops from plastic bottles was part of a series of standard checks, including checking valuables and bags, introduced since the large demonstrations at meetings about budget cuts. The removal of tops from plastic bottles is to make them less harmful if used as a missile.”