THERE was drama at a council meeting this week after a dispute over policy escalated quickly.

A source who was at the meeting of Bournemouth’s community overview and scrutiny panel on Tuesday said the row between councillors over a proposed borough lottery intended to raise funds for charities “nearly led to a punch-up”.

“It left a bad taste in our mouths at the meeting,” said the source, who wished to remain anonymous.

The incident was reported to have left several councillors angry with board member and Conservative councillor Nick Rose, who has told the Daily Echo he “wasn’t rude, just quite blunt”.

Independent councillor Anne Rey said: “Cllr Rose came in late, he missed a fantastic presentation on the council’s housing and homelessness scheme and was negative about all the other items.

“He really had a go about how the council shouldn’t be running lotteries and couldn’t run a business. If he had been there for the housing presentation he would have seen that we can run a business.

“He comes and attacks things members and officers are trying to do in the town.

"The Tories don’t want an opposition with someone in the group like him.”

The Echo reported on the lottery scheme last month.

It would see a borough-wide lottery with a £25,000 jackpot created, with 20 per cent of ticket sales going to admin, 20 per cent to prizes and 60 per cent going to charities and voluntary groups which have lost out on council funding in recent years.

According to the plan, the scheme would be managed by a separate organisation.

Cllr Rose dismissed criticism of his comments in the meeting, saying council scrutiny panels in his view did not involve enough questioning of policy, and reiterated his concern about the lottery proposal, saying it would consume officers' time.

“It is the job of councillors to scrutinise officers and the executive if we are not happy with what they are doing and to speak our minds,” he said.

“I think the lottery is a good idea, but the council should not be running it, it should be the Bournemouth Council for Voluntary Service.

“Councils are bad at running businesses, they don’t have the understanding of entrepreneurship or risk-taking, nor should they, it is not their job. Running a lottery is a business.

“Our job is to provide the infrastructure for others to do these sorts of things.”