AN ANGRY Whitehaven town councillor claims she has been gagged from discussing NuGen's Moorside project.

Coun Jayne Laine, for Mirehouse ward, is disputing a decision to prevent her debating NuGen's plans at any town council meetings.

This is because her home is included in the red lined search of the proposed development and she is considered to have a disclosable pecuniary interest (level of financial interest).

Coun Laine applied to Whitehaven Town Council's clerk, Les Abrahams, for a four-year dispensation, which would enable her to discuss plans during meetings, but this has been refused.

She said: "I will appeal that decision although, I fear that time is against my constituents in this regard. So, if any of those kind Mirehouse residents who voted for me to represent their views wonder why I have not done so at council meetings this is why."

Mr Abrahams said: "I believe the public’s perception of a councillor being permitted to take part in any debate and vote that clearly will have a major impact on their own property would be negative on this council and could lead to an erosion of confidence in the council as a decision making body."

He said Coun Laine is able to discuss NuGen's plans in any other forum outside the town council.