LABOUR councillors staged a dramatic walk-out of a heated council meeting following a row about fety measures in Pitsea.

The Basildon Labour Party brought forward a motion calling for a group to be set up of only councillors representing Pitsea North West and Pitsea South East wards to recommend appropriate measures to address crime in Pitsea.

Some of the suggestions brought by the party include park wardens for Northlands Park and Eversley Park, increased CCTV in Pitsea Town Centre and Northlands Park, and a knife amnesty bin in Pitsea for a minimum period of six weeks.

Craig Rimmer, Tory councillor, put forward a motion which he says widened the plans for the whole borough, however Labour say it quashed their motion which is wrong and that’s why they left.

Mr Rimmer said: “We want to be looking at the issue across Basildon as a whole as we are aware of issues borough wide.

“We also want to make sure it is a cross party working group.

“I live in Pitsea and think it has become safer, it used to be a no go zone.”

In a statement released after the meeting, Gavin Callaghan, leader of Basildon Labour Party Labour criticised the monitoring officer at the meeting, claiming the officer was unhelpful .

He said: “The Labour Group does not take the decision to leave full council lightly.

“It is always the very last resort.

“It is clear in the constitution that an amendment to a motion cannot negate the central purpose of the original motion.

“Sadly the Conservative amendment did fundamentally change the original purpose of the motion by removing the specific details on the reason for the motion as well as changing the resolution of the motion that changed the composition of the working group and removed details on what the working group was remitted to consider.

“I will be formally writing to the Chief Executive with a letter of complaint about the monitoring officer and await the outcome of the Chief Executive’s investigation.”

A Basildon Council spokesman said: “The Mayor is responsible for chairing Council meetings and ruling on the interpretation and application of the Constitution. It is the role of officers to provide advice and assistance to the Mayor in carrying out this duty.

“The Chief Executive will deal with any complaint made in accordance with council procedure.”