Devon County Council faces ‘watergate’ questions as public and press are BANNED from bringing drinks into council meeting

Devon County Council (DCC) had to field questions over its very own ‘watergate’ – after members of the public and press were barred from bringing drinks into a meeting.

Anyone wishing to take their own refreshments into the council chamber at County Hall, Exeter, last week, was told they had to leave them with two security guards outside the building.

When asked why, Daniel Clark, local democracy reporter for Devon, was told  by the staff it was due to concerns that water could be thrown at the elected representatives.

However, when asked for an official comment, a DCC spokesperson made no mention of the safety fears reason given on Thursday evening.

They said: “We welcome people attending our public meetings, but it’s long been our policy not to allow refreshments to be taken into the council chamber.”

At no stage during the last three years has any member of the press been told they are unable to bring water into a meeting with them, said members the press.

Jugs of water and glasses were provided to reporters and members of the public once they were inside the building.

Members of the council sit at least three rows away from the public gallery and press benches.

Hobbycraft set to open a store in Exeter as council plans are submitted