Regular readers may recall that we recently published the questions we wanted to ask at this week’s Council meeting. The Council’s Operation Cover Up has got into full swing now as they have chosen not to answer the questions put to them.
They gave their rational in an email, reproduced below:
Cowardly Council Censorship Email
Dear David, this email is being sent out on behalf of the Joint Chief Executies [sic].
We agree that there is a public interest in the Council being open and transparent. The purpose of Council question time however, is to seek Information. It is not an appropriate forum for ongoing and supplementary debate. The latter is a matter for council members themselves.
In this instance the ‘questions’ are not felt appropriate. They appear to rehearse matters that have already been put to the council within the last 6 months albeit we appreciate that you may not agree with the answers previously given.
Furthermore, one of the questions being asked of Cllr Cockarill inappropriately requires him to cast judgement in public on the conduct of other Members, for which he was not responsible.
All councillors, whether they were on Cabinet or the Opportunity Board will need to individually account for their actions. In this regard there is already an ongoing independent review of the Shapley Heath project.
It is therefore wrong at this time to prejudge that review by prematurely highlighting the role played by individual councillors out of context with the collective actions of other members.
We do agree however, that the Council should not be seen to avoid answering legitimate points raised. In our view the public interest is better served by having the council debate this matter once all the review processes have had chance to report.
The opportunity will arise at November’s Council once the independently facilitated review has been received by Cabinet. That would be the appropriate time for both public questions and member debate.
Our Response to the Cowardly Council
We think they have made a big mistake here. It looks like the Cabinet members are too cowardly to answer questions about their role in the Shapley Heath project and are seeking to cover up the mess they have made.
Far from “rehearsing matters” that have been put to the Council over the past 6 months, this week’s Council meeting is the first time members of the public have had the opportunity to question Cabinet members about the content of the Audit Report and their reaction to it. It was published after the deadline for questions for the July meeting.
Councillor Cockarill already cast judgement on his fellow Opportunity Board members at the July meeting. The question was asking him to be a little bit more precise.
It is clear that certain Cabinet members have been, at best, misleading with their recent statements to Council and Cabinet. Now they’re running away from accountability.