Bereaved mother sets off flare in council meeting saying her daughter took her own life because of government cuts
A bereaved mother interrupted a council budget meeting by setting of a FLARE – and said her 19-year-old daughter took her own life after being “failed” due to cuts.
The woman, who has not been identified, took drastic action to get the attention of Mayor of Bristol Marvin Rees, who met with her privately after the meeting was halted.
The red flare – the kind which can land a football fan with a three-month prison sentence if they are found in possession with one at a stadium – filled the council chambers with pink smoke.
Most councillors rushed to leave the building, and security guards attempted to remove the woman.
The mother, who was sitting in the public gallery, said her 19-year-old daughter was “failed” by social services which led her to take her own life on Friday, February 16.
The woman said: “I really hope you do not make any cuts to social services.
“She wasn’t just failed by myself, she was failed by social services, mental health services.
“And if you make any cuts to those services you are going to have a hell of a lot of blood in this council chamber.
“My daughter has been killed by the system, and I am angry.”
The heartbroken mum stood up during a discussion about the local authority’s corporate strategy to berate the council for cutting back mental health services to the point where the teenager was receiving no support.
Bristol City councillors for the Green Party, Eleanor Combley and Jude English, went to comfort the woman along with Labour councillor Nicola Bowden-Jones.
Fans were brought in to clear smoke from City Hall before the meeting resumed.
Bristol City Council is facing a £108 million deficit by 2023 if it does not make any changes to its spending or services.
Marvin Rees is hoping to pass a budget with £34.5million worth of cuts for 2018/19.