Mayor hits out at protestors who threw eggs at him during heated council meeting

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon who was egged during council meeting.

Middlesbrough Mayor Ray Mallon who was egged during council meeting.

First published in News
Last updated
Darlington and Stockton Times: Photograph of the Author by

PLANS to permanently close a busy road in Middlesbrough town centre have left the Mayor with egg on his face.

A meeting of Middlesbrough Council’s executive was disrupted by "mob" behaviour as Ray Mallon was targeted by abusive members of the Asian community who threw eggs at him.

After the meeting today (Tuesday, March 4) he hit out at the behaviour of a small selection of people who packed out a meeting at Middlesbrough Town Hall to hear the decision to permanently close Southfield Road in the town.

More than 60 people attended the meeting, which took place following a protest march through the town.

They were registering their opposition to the proposed closure of Southfield Road to make way for the next phase of Teesside University’s campus.

As Mr Mallon outlined his reasons for supporting the closure a number of eggs were thrown at members of the committee and there were verbal outbursts from the public gallery which was cleared as a result of the unruly behaviour.

Speaking after the meeting, Mr Mallon said: “The throwing of eggs and the use of foul and abusive language at a council meeting is outrageous, and I want the public to know how these people behave when they don’t get their way.

“People who behave like this don’t understand or uphold democracy – their intention is to disrupt it.

“This was disgraceful behaviour by a small section of the Asian community whose only aim is cause trouble, and threaten and intimidate those who stand in their way.

“As an example, one member of this group some 18 months ago was suggesting that he would burn the University down if this proposal went ahead. The matter was rightly reported to the police and the individual spoken to.

“Similarly, a significant element of the group who attended today’s meeting displayed a mob mentality, and they attempted to hijack democracy. They failed miserably.

“No member of this council will show any weakness in the face of this sort of behaviour which has no place in a civilised society.”

The closure of the road has been strongly opposed by members of the Asian community and some local councillors, including John McPartland and Pervaz Khan.

Last May, the section of Southfield Road between Woodlands Road and Southfield Lane was shut initially for a six-month trial.

The experimental road closure formed part of ongoing plans by Teesside University to create a pedestrianised “campus heart”.

After today’s meeting the road will be permanently closed.

Comments (6)

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7:27pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Voice-of-reality says...

One assumes that had white people thrown eggs at a meeting where it was suggested that a road was closed for ease of access to a mosque that there would have been more serious consequences for the protestors.
One assumes that had white people thrown eggs at a meeting where it was suggested that a road was closed for ease of access to a mosque that there would have been more serious consequences for the protestors. Voice-of-reality
  • Score: 15

7:33pm Tue 4 Mar 14

DaisyBear says...

Whilst the threat to burn down the university is outrageous (quite rightly reported to the police) and throwing anything in council is unacceptable, the message that many people are fed up with pedestrianisation needs to be clear to councils. Middlesbrough seems to be becoming increasingly bisected by the university and, frankly, one has the impression that it is its major business.

There is a point at which universities need to stop expanding. Open a new campus-based university on the edge of town when demand is right - set aside 1,000 acres, put the first buildings closest to the town side of the area, and expand in a manner that is planned and reasonable, without causing massive disruption to the public.
Whilst the threat to burn down the university is outrageous (quite rightly reported to the police) and throwing anything in council is unacceptable, the message that many people are fed up with pedestrianisation needs to be clear to councils. Middlesbrough seems to be becoming increasingly bisected by the university and, frankly, one has the impression that it is its major business. There is a point at which universities need to stop expanding. Open a new campus-based university on the edge of town when demand is right - set aside 1,000 acres, put the first buildings closest to the town side of the area, and expand in a manner that is planned and reasonable, without causing massive disruption to the public. DaisyBear
  • Score: 1

8:07pm Tue 4 Mar 14

English lad says...

Closing the Easy Road to Britain would be a better idea then we wouldn't have to keep appeasing these people in the sake of political correctness!
Closing the Easy Road to Britain would be a better idea then we wouldn't have to keep appeasing these people in the sake of political correctness! English lad
  • Score: 20

10:13pm Tue 4 Mar 14

Lancelot says...

It's amazing how M'bro Council go against the wishes of the people who elect them knowing full well that the Lemmings will vote Labour again at next elections. We've seen Labour bring this town to its knees in the 60 years plus that they have been in power. It's time for change.

I don't condone the behavior of those who disrupt meetings but I can understand their motives when no-one will listen to them.
It's amazing how M'bro Council go against the wishes of the people who elect them knowing full well that the Lemmings will vote Labour again at next elections. We've seen Labour bring this town to its knees in the 60 years plus that they have been in power. It's time for change. I don't condone the behavior of those who disrupt meetings but I can understand their motives when no-one will listen to them. Lancelot
  • Score: 0

8:22am Wed 5 Mar 14

Smig62 says...

It is a bit rich for Mallon to talk about democracy over this issue.
Mbro council only caters for the whims of the University and completely ignore the wishes of the people who live near it.
The residents do not want this road to close, as it is a major arterial road, but the University does.
The diverted traffic is now running down a residential street and three children have been involved in traffic accidents already. It is only a matter of time before one is killed.
When this road was closed on a trial basis, everyone knew it would never reopen, it was a done deal from the start.
It is a bit rich for Mallon to talk about democracy over this issue. Mbro council only caters for the whims of the University and completely ignore the wishes of the people who live near it. The residents do not want this road to close, as it is a major arterial road, but the University does. The diverted traffic is now running down a residential street and three children have been involved in traffic accidents already. It is only a matter of time before one is killed. When this road was closed on a trial basis, everyone knew it would never reopen, it was a done deal from the start. Smig62
  • Score: 7

8:39am Wed 5 Mar 14

Claude Ted says...

The bEhaviour exhibited is totally unacceptable however MBC needs to realise that the Middlesbrough public have serious reservations over the pedestrianisation of Southfield road.
This looks like a relationship between MBC & the university founded on mutual interest.
The ratepayers will be here long after the students leave.
Both organisations are publicly funded & yet are still leaking cash hand over fist.
MBC grants planning permission for a Uni building that probably isn't necessary then continues with pedestrianisation against the wishes of the public & then does a deal with the Uni over MIMA, a multi million pound loss making facility.
Shifting losses from MBC to the Uni still means a massive loss of public funds!
These dealings requires public scrutiny.
The bEhaviour exhibited is totally unacceptable however MBC needs to realise that the Middlesbrough public have serious reservations over the pedestrianisation of Southfield road. This looks like a relationship between MBC & the university founded on mutual interest. The ratepayers will be here long after the students leave. Both organisations are publicly funded & yet are still leaking cash hand over fist. MBC grants planning permission for a Uni building that probably isn't necessary then continues with pedestrianisation against the wishes of the public & then does a deal with the Uni over MIMA, a multi million pound loss making facility. Shifting losses from MBC to the Uni still means a massive loss of public funds! These dealings requires public scrutiny. Claude Ted
  • Score: 6

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