Millionaire is banned from the town hall

A MILLIONAIRE businessman has been banned from a town hall after the latest episode in a long-running feud led to him being thrown out of a council meeting.

A MILLIONAIRE businessman has been banned from a town hall after the latest episode in a long-running feud led to him being thrown out of a council meeting.

Mervyn Lambert, who runs a well-known plant hire firm in his name, received a strongly worded letter from Waveney District Council chief executive Stephen Baker, informing him of his ban from Lowestoft Town Hall.

Mr Lambert reacted angrily during a debate about the council's failure to honour its responsibilities as charity trustees of a swathe of land and a public building, and left the public gallery to hand over documents to officials.

He was immediately told to leave by council chairman George Hawes and the meeting was adjourned for five minutes.

In his letter, Mr Baker described Mr Lambert's behaviour as 'unacceptable' and told him: 'Not for the first time, you behaved in an angry, aggressive and disruptive manner at this meeting and such conduct is completely unacceptable. The chairman was forced to adjourn the meeting as a result of your refusal to stop interrupting the proceedings and your refusal to leave.

'Meanwhile, councillors have complained to the monitoring officer that your behaviour has degenerated to such an extent that some of them find your presence and approach at these meetings intimidating.'

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This week, Mr Lambert vehemently denied that he refused to leave the meeting and said he had started legal proceedings in a bid to force the council to withdraw that part of its statement.

Mr Lambert, who runs his company from Garboldisham, near Diss, has been a high-profile critic of the council for many years, making many allegations against councillors and officials.

He wrote letters to the council, dating back more than two years, about its administration of the charity trusts and spearheaded a campaign to try to stop the authority selling the North Denes caravan park site to a private operator, insisting it was publicly owned.

Mr Lambert was also a prominent opponent of the decision to remove the Seahenge timber circle at Holme, near Hunstanton.

Mr Baker accused Mr Lambert of sending letters containing 'derogatory' and 'offensive' comments about council staff, tape-recording conversations and posing as someone else on the telephone to sidestep measures to stop him 'haranguing' officers.

Mr Lambert said: 'They are claiming I refused to leave the meeting. That is untrue and a slur, and if they don't retract it I will sue them for defamation.'

He added that his stand against Waveney council was justified.

Mr Lambert admitted he had on occasions recorded conversations and posed as someone else, but added: 'They don't like the message so they shoot the messenger. Why would anybody have a problem with me recording what they say if they are telling me the truth? They don't like the fact they are being watched and complained about. What have they got to hide?'

In relation to his role in the charity row, he said: 'They haven't been doing it properly and it took me 2� years of writing… before they put it right.'