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Brid Councilors Against Making Bridlington Streets Safer.

The ongoing civil war within the East Riding Conservative Party is now spilling over and damaging the safety of Bridlington residents.

The hostilities began when a minority of Conservatives councillors opposed the £364k discretionary taxpayer-funded pay-out that allowed director Sue Lockwood to retire early on full pension shortly after being given a pay hike to retain her services.

Four years ago, we saw virtually the entire Leadership of the Conservative Group deselected as unfit to represent the Conservative Party, only to be reinstated due to a technicality. Their revenge on their opponents resulted in ‘rebel’ councillors being forced out of the Conservative Group and the Council, and there are ongoing rule-shattering manipulations to deselect those who remain, along with any new councillors close to them.
This should all remain the misfortune of the political party concerned, but the vitriol and hatred is so embedded in the Council Leader that it is now affecting his judgement and that of the whole Council.
Humberside Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Grove, who, as a councillor, led the opposition to the payout, has proposed placing more officers in the top crime spots of Bridlington and Goole. Police are currently concentrated in Beverley, which has very little crime.

The former Police Authority actually allowed our officers to be moved away from the town.

You would have thought the Bridlington Councillors would be delighted and support the move.

Not a bit – whilst the other councils in the Humberside Police area have been extremely supportive, even asking why this was not done years ago, ERYC are trying to block making our streets safer. The Conservative Group, including all our local councillors, voted instead to make a formal complaint against Commissioner Grove and Chief Constable Curran, to the Parliamentary Committee for Standards in Public Life.

Their ‘crime’, is not consulting the Council, despite Leader Parnaby and Chief Executive Pearson refusing their offer to attend Full Council to set out the proposals and answer any questions from any councillor. They both rightly refused to attend a behind closed doors review meeting with selected councillors (but instead send the Divisional Commander).

Councillors then snubbed a conference at Bishop Burton, set up especially for them, with eleven senior offices including the Chief Constable.  Only nine of the 64 ERYC councillors attended, and two of those left soon after signing in. Not one of our Bridlington councillors bothered to attend.

Cllr Chad Chadwick ( Bridlington South Ward) did at least attend the Commissioner’s public meeting held at Bridlington School, but astonished those attending speak against improved policing for our town. The only person there to do so.

I am sure few Bridlington or Goole residents care about political parties tearing themselves apart. They do care about the safety of their families and community. For elected Councillors who are supposed to work on our behalf, to instead, play pathetic personal politics at our expense and the expense of the effective policing of their own wards is beyond contempt.  It is they who have found a new low in standards in public life and they who should seriously consider whether they wish to represent their residents, or pander to the personal grievances of their Group puppet-masters.

The Force has issued a formal rebuttal to the Council and comments of the Council’s review.

See links below

police letter

Review Comment

Central and OldTown Candidates respond to Our questions.

1, What are your reasons for standing?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, my reason for standing is to be a voice in the east riding council and to help the people that need helping .broken street lamp .pot holes etc

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: ERYC has been Conservative controlled for all of its 18years. Here in Bridlington out of 8 councillors ,6 are Conservative. One of these is the Old Towns only remaining E.R. councillor. My wife Thelma is now a BTC for Old Town ward, and is receiving a lot of calls for help. Besides being a BTC myself for the past four years, I was also a member of the EYBC for 5 years. It really is time for a change in our town , I hope to do just that.

Neil Tate, Independent; The following is my rational for standing for Ward Council. I have worked for this Council for many years prior to taking early retirement, and through-out those years, I have had first-hand experiences that have led me to question the Councils integrity, and the way it was being managed both by the management and the cabinet. I want justice, transparency and fairness for local people and I believe this latter statement may answers several of your other questions.

2, Do you use social media or have a blog site? ( please provide details and links so our members can follow you)

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, i use face book and twitter .personal account but if anyone wants to find me just type in Liam Dealtry on either site .

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: Just go to Malcolm Milns on facebook

Neil Tate, Independent; I do not use Blog’s and I am on Facebook, and have considered many times leaving it. I somehow think it’s not for me and not the way I wish to proceed. If elected I aim to create my own website.

3, Do you accept our invitation to engage with J4B?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, yes i accept your invite to engage with yourselfs.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: Certainly.

Neil Tate, Independent; I have limited knowledge of J4B, but having said that, an organisation that seeks justice for Bridlington must I feel be important and should not be ignored.

4, Do you share our members’ concern at the failure of the AAP?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, yes .the aap was supposed to be the crown jewel that would have regenarated my home town.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: Very much so, as a member of BTC I attended meetings with relevant officers of ERC and the Harbour Commissioners as well as being there for the Government Inspectors final report at the Spa

Neil Tate, Independent; With regard to the Area Action Plan ( AAP ), I too am concerned and not happy regarding the slow progress of the AAP, and what I believe you are calling failure.

5, Do you think the AAP can still be delivered or does it need to be amended or revised and why?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, i believe the aap can still be delivered but dies need amending and making smaller and more realistic propasition.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: Only ERC know for sure whether the AAP can, or will still be delivered.There are some good ideas there but also some that are way off target. I don’t think that paying consultants that do not know our local area too well is a good idea Change is definitely required

6, Do you agree that there should be a thorough, independent investigation into what went wrong?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, if any wrong doing of any form has taken place this should be investigated from top to bottom.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: YES – but not at the expense of local residents

Neil Tate, Independent; I would welcome any investigation that may bring about a positive result in improving the situation. If mistakes by Councillors, Officers and Consultants are proved, then they should be held accountable for their mistakes.

7, Do you agree that there can be little confidence in ERYC and it’s revised regeneration plans until any Cllrs, Officers, Consultants responsible are held to account?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, as above .IF there is a individual or group that have messed up they do need to be held to account

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: YES

8, Would you sign the J4b pledge to ensure regeneration in Bridlington is properly and publicly scrutinised by the Council ?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, YES

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: Yes , but should the ERYC be scrutinising itself?

9, Are you satisfied by the Council’s response to the failure of the AAP and do you feel this is adequate / appropriate to regenerate the town’s economy.

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, i believe that there may be many hidden agendas and some people should still come out and appolsgise to the town

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: 9What response, in the main we are just side -tracked

10, Do you agree that the Council should itself record and broadcast all it’s public meetings?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, .I have no probs with any meeting been recorded .I would like to see a live web feed in ALL meetings.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: Yes , the Town Council do

Neil Tate, Independent; We are now in the year 2014 where modern technology is all around us. People seem to want to record everything these days. Council meetings of any kind, should never be held behind closed doors and if some-one wishes to record meetings or ballots of any kind, I would have no objection to them being recorded and I do not see why any-one else should.

11, Do you agree scrutiny chairmen and members should be selected by secret ballot of ‘back bench’ Cllrs?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, .i do not believe in any secret ballots back or front bench .

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: No , again I say the ERYC is Conservative controlled and of course the ” cabinet” is entirely conservative. Do we see the advantage.!

Neil Tate, Independent; Secret Ballots are for people that want to hide things. Any-one acting in the interest of the public, and on any public matters, should not be allowed to hide anything. Secret ballots are definitely not on my wish list.

12, Do you agree with tax payer funded allowances for Cllrs for political group roles?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, .i have for the last 7 years held the position if bridlington town councillor including one year as mayor .All this is done free of charge because i see representing your town as a honour and if it was up to me ni councilor would be paid or receive large expenses .I believe claimed £637 or something like that for my term as deputy and mayor and that was for proved expensise with receipts.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: . Definitely not

Neil Tate, Independent; I personally have not asked or had any allowance to assist me in putting my name forward for Council , so I do not see why any-one should ask for political allowances. It is my view that public monies is precious.

13, Do you prefer Cabinet / Director decision making or Executive Committee?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, this one i am unsure how to answer but i beleive more heads making the decision id better than 3 or 4 ????

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: None really, certainly not Director, what is the difference between Cabinet and Executive committee! Neither one represents a free vote.

Neil Tate, Independent; Decision making should always be made democratically by genuine independent people who are allowed to apply their own vote and not be pressured by any outside influence

14, What do you intend to do to make a difference?

John Copsey , Conservative: NO RESPONSE

Liam Dealtry, Independent, .i am going to try my best for the area .I am not a quiet person and like to be heard .so i will be the voice of the people to the best of my ability.

Terry Dixon, Independent NO RESPONSE

Malcolm Milns, UKIP: .UKIP local councillors are able to make their own mind up and vote for the good of the local community. Having in the past , as a member of another party, being told at full council how to vote. I know what it’s like . I would not , and will not do it. I resigned from that party the same evening. I feel very strongly that a local councillor, is simply a local person with a job to do for the people he or she represents.

.

East Riding Council Openly Disregards New Law on Filming

Eric Pickles has now signed the order making it illegal for Councils to stop members of the public filming or recording public meetings.
The law was changed following a TPA report supporting our campaign. ERYC then being highlighted as the most secretive council in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.
They later defiantly refused to change until forced to by legislation.
Yesterday they were, that legislation was in place yet the Council still read out it’s (now illegal) recording ban preamble at the Planning Meeting.

When challenged by a Councillor the ERYC Officer in charge confirmed the Council was aware the law was in force but that Council rules could not be changed until the next full council meeting, – This is not until 8th October. Apparently ERYC rules outweigh the law of the land and ERYC Members and Officers are not subject to legislation like the rest of us.

The law change which is part of the Local Audit and Accountability Act 2014 was given Royal Assent on 30th January but Mr. Pickles delayed signing the order brining it into effect until now to allow Councils the time needed to change their rules. Councillors knew the order was to be signed this week, Eric Pickles even personally confirmed it at a Conservative Party meeting in the East Riding three weeks ago (reported by j4b). More than enough time to deal with it at the Full Council meeting held last week on on 30th July.
What is even more astonishing is that Councillors did not vote on the
ban declaration which was introduced into meetings by Officers as a procedural change. Why then is a vote of all Members is needed to scrap it?

So ERYC is your failure to respond deliberate or utter incompetence? We will be asking a few questions to find out.

Cllr Parnaby is now out of time. Like it or not his out of touch Conservative Group can no longer limit public scrutiny of your meetings to the few who can attend.
If he is intent on the Council breaking the law for the next two months- he should think again.

yorkshire Post

Leading East Riding Conservatives Found Guilty Of Selection Rigging.

It is bizarre for a non-partisan community group to be dragged into the internal wrangling of a political party. When ERYC Council Leader Parnaby and his Group Officers effectively made association or support for Justice for Brid a breach of Conservative Party rules, so serious that sitting councillors were deselected even for a perceived involvement, we were damaged by their processes.

As reported in both  The Yorkshire Post and The Hull Daily Mail the first stage of the Conservative Party’s investigation into the Council Leader’s attempted de-selection coup against councillors thought to have association with Justice for Brid, and not toeing the Parnaby line, has concluded.

IT HAS FOUND SERIOUS WRONGDOING;

- that inappropriate influence was applied by the Group Officers contrary to the rules of their Party,

- that the same Group Officers  broke their own rules in effectively throwing the councillors, who suspended their Group membership, out of the Group, and

 – that MP David Davis’s Association Chairman acted wrongly, breaching rules by voting twice in an election to ensure they were deselected.

The investigation, which attempts to close down the entire  matter, but has yet to consider any of the false accusations and potentially libellous statements, including those made against Justice for Brid, concludes that they should all now ‘kiss and make up’.

The Conservative Party pride itself that its elections are run to the standards of Electoral Law. Despite this, the only action taken is against the injured parties, if the mistreated councillors do not rejoin the Group ‘for the sake if the Party’, they have been threatened with summary de-selection by Conservative Party Headquarters not signing-off their nomination papers. This is even if they are selected as the official candidates, and despite there being no Party rule requiring councillors to join their council group.

This threat is akin to a court finding domestic abuse, but instead of sentencing the abuser, ordering the victim to go back to their convicted partner to be a good spouse in the future.
It is a ludicrous and derisible response to the ‘guilty as charged’ verdict.

The Conservative Party is quick to define UKIP by the inappropriate actions of its members. It makes political capital over Labour’s selection-rigging in Falkirk, but faced with the same serious issues and abuses in the East Riding, the instinct is to cover-up and pretend there is nothing wrong. The kind of appalling double standard that so undermines politics today.

The Conservative cover-up has been going on for years in the North of England, with even the highest levels aware of what is going on.  A Party that seeks an overall parliamentary majority in 2015 cannot afford to continue such pretence

It sends a message to the electorate that this is a Party willing to accept electoral malpractice, one willing to mislead the public and discard its own rules and principals to win elections at all cost.

If the Conservative Party prefer to support and endorse their elected representatives, officials and senior members who abuse positions to subvert democracy and abuse others, then, by the standards it applies to the opposition, that becomes what the Conservative Party stands for.

It is time for the moral cowards who so readily seek positions of power and influence within the Party to stop chasing honours and personal advancement and do their jobs properly. They need to start serving the membership and supporters whom they have tainted by their inactions, and must follow UKIP’s example of censuring and removing those who do wrong . Without doing so voters can have no confidence in the Conservative political brand or their candidates. The positions of the guilty East Riding Council Councillors and H&H Association officers should now be untenable.

The offenders can only survive if the National Conservative Party choose them over honest, decent Party members.

We will be watching and will report on the outcome.

 

The Conservative Group Officers found guilty are

Leader; Steven Parnaby, Beverley Rural Ward

Deputy Leader; Jonathan Owen, East Wolds and Coastal Ward

Secretary; Felicity Temple, Driffield and Rural Ward

Chief Whip; Bryan Pearson Beverley St Mary’s Ward

Jane Evison, East Wolds and Coastal Ward

Richard Burton, Bridlington Old Town Ward

Brian Skow,  Mid-Holderness Ward

Also

David Wincup, Haltemprice and Howden Association Chairman

Councillors Deliver On Scrutiny Pledge.

Councillors who responded to the Justice for Brid scrutiny pledge  have ensured that the next ERYC scrutiny review looks into regeneration projects.
We should now be given answers to some of the questions raised by the  Council’s planning failures in Bridlington. After all, you can not review anything without acknowledging and understanding what has worked or gone wrong in the past.

Despite the knee-jerk sell-offs and back-of-fag-packet money-no-object smokescreen being put up to cover the failure of the AAP, even the Council apologists have to acknowledge that Bridlington regeneration has gone spectacularly wrong.

However we hear that senior officials are blocking any public participation and the review, which will not be recorded, is to be held behind closed doors, with the public firmly shut out. We also hear that the scope of the enquiry ( which has not been published) has been carefully controlled so as to prevent councillors from being able look too closely or to hold those responsible to account.

Scrutiny Committee meetings are public and we may with the indulgence of the Chairman have some limited involvement. Not so with scrutiny reviews.
The difference is that unlike committee meetings, Reviews can scrutinise ‘operational matters’ (things done by council officers). East Riding Council use these reviews to get round the legal requirement to allow Councillors to scrutinise in public what the officers get up to and the decisions they make.

A small panel, appointed by the Conservative Group leadership work directly with officers to produce a report, ( written by the officers) which is then presented to the council.

The full scrutiny committee, in this case Environment & Regeneration, publicly receives the report first, but cannot change a single word of it or ask the panel to revisit any part of the investigation.

In 2007 the Flood Review opened up the review process, insisting on holding its meetings in public on an evening when people could attend and allowing public participation. The Council decided that this format should be adopted for all future reviews.

There is no good reason for any Council to hold scrutiny meetings, reviews or working groups behind closed doors. To do so is contrary to the whole ethos of public scrutiny. Such secrecy is the province of those who seek to cover up what is unacceptable.  In the case of the East Riding, this secrecy is contrary to what the council itself decided.

All scrutiny should be in the open. Meetings should be recorded and broadcast, residents should be allowed to attend and to participate by submitting questions.

We at Justice for Brid thank the councillors who got the Bridlington issues to scrutiny, even in this highly controlled and limited way. Given that senior officers and leading councillors treat J4B as a proscribed organisation for daring to seek truth and accountability, their support marks the growing dissatisfaction with the Council Leader. The message from his Conservative Group is that any perceived support for us is grounds to be thrown out of the Group and for de-selection by the Conservative Party.

Those standing up to this bullying most certainly deserve our gratitude. It is a mark of the corruption and perverse distortion of democracy under Cllr Parnaby’s regime at ERYC that we can not thank them by name without they suffer reprisals.

Sadly, secret scrutiny limited in its scope can not command public confidence. ERYC seems intent on retaining their title as the most closed and secretive council in Yorkshire and Lincolnshire.

We call for all scrutiny to be in public.

Parnaby Tries To Weed Out Cllrs ‘Disloyal’ For Representing Their Wards

Conservative Councillors Geraldine Mathieson and Lena Slater have not been approved to stand as Conservative candidates in 2015 by a ‘hand picked’ sub-committee of their Haltemprice & Howden Association.

This follows personal interventions from Cllr Parnaby and his Group Secretary Cllr Felicity Temple.
Writing on behalf of the Group Officers, in an official letters riddled with factual errors, Cllr Temple effectively argued that in representing their residents both Cllrs Mathieson and Slater had been disloyal to the Leader and the Council.

Along with fellow Cottingham councillor Ros Jump, they were accused of supporting an opposition amendment to the ERYC Local Plan – wrong, they voted with the rest of the Tories on that one.  If there was ‘rebellion’ in the ranks, it was the previous vote at January’s Council meeting.

What the three did do then, in stark contrast to our own councillors, was to actually stand up for their Town Council which like Bridlington’s (and against Conservative DCLG Minister’s advice )  had part of its government funding grabbed to fill the ERYC coffers.

Looks like the Group Secretary doesn’t pay attention in Council despite being paid £11,697  (on top of her basic and Deputy Chairman’s allowance)  in taxpayer’s money handed out by Cllr Parnaby to do his bidding.

Following Party rules to the letter, they gave their close involvement with Cottingham’s Neighbourhood Plan as reason to vote in the interests of their ward.  Conservative Group rules normally allow this along with voting with their conscience but these basic and necessary rights have been striped from from ERYC Conservative Councilors by Cllr Parnaby and Temple’s  unauthorised amendment to the party rules.

Cllr Mathieson had also appeared on photographs of the Justice for Bridlington demonstration last May, and she now stand accused of a dangerous liaison with a malevolent organisation.

Cllr Mathieson with TPA Chief Executive Matthew Sinclair

Cllr Mathieson with TPA Chief Executive Matthew Sinclair

Such news travels fast, so it didn’t take long for some who had seen the letter to tell us that attending a residents’ meeting in a public space had been deemed grounds by the Leader for a well-respected and hard-working councillor to be considered unfit to represent the Conservative Party.

The Conservatives made great play of the undue influence that Unions had over the Labour selection process in Falkirk. They will now have to deal with their own clearly unfit selection process which many members say is charter for cronyism and corruption.

They have been proven right, we now know that to be selected as Conservative Party candidate in the East Riding of Yorkshire you must not serve your electorate nor serve your Party, but you must instead serve Leader Parnaby and his associates with absolute and unquestioning loyally – even if this is not in the interests of those who elected you or is against your own conscience.

This explains why our Conservative Councillors in Bridlington are so often wanting when it comes to representing our town or even the party they use to get elected – the simple truth is they don’t.

How Taxpayer’s Money Helps Keep ERYC Leadership In Power and Unaccountable

An small item, showing up only in a chart covering terms of reference and buried in the 256 page report, submitted to councillors at the East Riding of Yorkshire Council Overview Management Committee on 27th February effectively removes the ability of back bench Councillors to scrutinise the internal proceedings of the Council.

The hasty 2010 restructuring of scrutiny apparently left no room to examine much more than the work of external bodies.  This was despite a two-year working group involving all backbench Conservative councillors, reviewing and strengthening the scrutiny process, but the resultant report was not even presented to the Group. Instead the new structure was devised and presented fait accompli by the Group Leader.

The internal machinations of political groups are not normally a matter for public accountability, but where a council leader decides how he can be held to account, what can be scrutinised and how, this becomes so unacceptable that crosses the line.

It was bad enough that ERYC chose to ‘interpret’ legislation such as to prevent scrutiny committee members from discussing any ‘operational matters’.  This effectively means the actions of officers can not be challenged, and any decision made by them can not be ‘called in ‘ for review. How would you feel if our MP was banned from questioning the actions of civil servants?

It gets worse.  The Scrutiny chairman and committee members who hold the Leader to account are chosen by the Leader himself.

This is dressed up as a Group recommendation to Council but in the ERYC Conservative Group, committee places are all decided by the Leader and presented to the Group –  there is no questioning or debate allowed.  Publicly-funded ‘special responsibility allowances’ amounting to £262,125. per year (£68,000 for scrutiny alone) are handed out by the Leader to reward loyalty to his regime rather than ability. An astonishing 67.3% of the Conservatives being handed a payment by the leader.  ( 69.2% if you include the Fire Authority payments also in the gift of the Leader) Complaints from anyone not rewarded are dismissed as ‘sour grapes’. This payroll vote has to be very loyal indeed: those who dare to do their job of scrutinising the Council or holding the Cabinet to account are sacked. A shameful silence, and complicity results at our expense.

Not that it matters. Scrutiny at ERYC has no teeth; the officers have effectively extracted those with another handy ‘interpretation’ of the rules.  Each time the Council meets they approve and adopt the minutes of Cabinet. If a recommendation is not challenged, it is accepted and becomes the decision of the Council.  Similarly the Cabinet receives the minutes of Scrutiny committees and have a chance to challenge the recommendations. In this way, any decisions made by, or passed through Cabinet, even those buried deep in the minutes, are approved and given full legal force.  However, officers insist that Scrutiny recommendations are merely ‘noted’ and have no standing whatsoever. A very convenient neutering of the democratic process.

These subtle perversions make ERYC scrutiny worse than pointless, and as we saw with recent Bridlington Hilderthorpe Road petition,

http://justiceforbrid.wordpress.com/2013/07/18/hilderthorpe-road-residents-petition/

the public can not have confidence in the process.

The Council’s argument is that the legal requirements are met, not through the committees, but by the Review Panels. They can afford to allow the members this scrap as the reports (with the exception of the flood review) are written by the officers and approved by the directors before being released. Exactly which Conservative councillors can serve on Review Panels is tightly controlled by the Group leadership, favouring those who are unable to tell the difference between activity and achievement.

Then we have the farce of the annual work programme. The matters to be scrutinised are discussed, and sensitive issues subtlety dropped or amended. The work programme is then ‘full’ and so members can not get urgent topical matters on the agenda.

There are a few simple things which can be done and must be done by any council to achieve genuine scrutiny.

  • They must adopt the changes made in Parliament to set up select committees. The Leader, Cabinet and political groups must be removed from influence. Back-bench councillors must choose the committee members in a secret ballot and the committees must chose its own chairmen, again by secret ballot
  • Scrutiny committees must be free to scrutinise any aspect of the function of the council and call in decisions made by directors.
  • Scrutiny recommendations should be approved and adopted by Council as decisions and policy of the Council in the same way as Cabinet decisions.

These measures were all included in the blocked report. Scrutiny is there to ensure decisions are well made and that the Council’s processes are fair, open and accountable. It is only extremely weak or corrupt leadership that allows the process to be debased.

Mr. Pickles has allowed us all to film council meetings, yet ERYC is still resistant and obviously don’t want us seeing what is going on. Every public meeting still starts with the Chairman reading a statement of policy banning any recording.

Scrutiny members will be monitored. They can no longer get away with poor performance, falling asleep, drifting into anecdotes of events long ago or simply going through the process by reading questions written for them by officers.

If Scrutiny Chairmen paid by us are not doing the job, but serving their paymaster, then they can expect to be held to account by groups like Justice for Brid, and their performance published online for all to see.

Perhaps that is why ERYC are about to remove scrutiny of the Council itself from the agenda.

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