Labour councillor Steve Tulley suggests Wakefield Council's highways officers 'ain't got a clue' in tetchy exchange

A district councillor angrily suggested that local highways officers "ain't got a clue" after a planning decision was delayed.

Outspoken Labour backbencher Steve Tulley, who represents the South Elmsall and South Kirkby ward on Wakefield Council, was frustrated by a lack of progress on an application he was due to speak on.

The council's planning committee had been due to decide whether or not to approve an extension to an industrial unit at Langthwaite Business Park, in South Kirkby on Thursday.

The committee was told the unit operated as a "gym" and "rehab centre", which had previously helped ex-servicemen recover from injuries.

Councillor Steve Tulley

But confusion reigned when council officers said they'd not received sufficient information about the nature of the business and councillors' queries about car parking went unanswered.

Committee chair Sandra Pickin then rejected a suggestion to invite the applicant, who was sat in the public gallery during the meeting, to speak and clarify a number of issues.

The committee later decided to defer on making a decision on the application, leaving Coun Tulley, who'd been scheduled to speak in favour of the application, unimpressed.

As members voted, he told Labour colleague Coun Pickin, "You could have asked some people here who actually know about the site, instead of asking highways officers, who with the greatest of respect, ain't got a clue!"

Coun Pickin responded by telling Coun Tulley he was "out of order," adding: "We haven't got enough information in front of us from the applicant and the agent.

"If they haven't got everything in place, that isn't committee's fault."

Coun Tulley previously drew headlines for a blistering attack on Pontefract and Castleford MP Yvette Cooper in 2019, following that year's local elections.

In a criticism of her stance on Brexit, Coun Tulley claimed Ms Cooper "wouldn't know democracy if it scratched her in the eyeballs."

Local Democracy Reporting Service