Prayer debate in council forum

PRAYERS will continue to be said at the Brigg Town Council monthly meetings in the Angel Suite – an issue that has been in the spotlight recently.

Council did not say prayers at the usual point at the start of the agenda at the latest meeting, but considered the way forward as an agenda item in light of the recent ruling against Bideford Town Council, following a case brought by a non-religious group and upheld by the European Court.

Town mayor’s chaplain Coun Alec Depledge told members he had sought advice from ERNLCA (East Riding/North Lincolnshire Local Council’s Association).

“This is a minor irritant and ERNLCA proposed that a brief suspension of standing orders is taken for prayers before the start of formal business.

“My view is that this will be a short-term measure.”

Members voted overwhelmingly to back a motion from Mayor John Kitwood to suspend standing orders for prayers that were led by the Rev Depledge.

Local Government minister Eric Pickles has already promised to see through legislation that will allow prayers back at the start of the agenda.

Coun James Truepenny said: “Even for those of no denomination, I feel prayers give a time for a moment of reflection and I back that we continue.”