Will EDDC’s Chief Executive sit as a full member at Tuesday’s TAFF meeting?

9 Mar

… and if so, why?  Surely the whole point of Scrutiny is that everyone is scrutinised without fear or favour.  Witness, we can understand:  equal partner, we don’t understand.   No doubt the Chairman of the TAFF will ask him to enlighten us as to why he is a member of the panel scrutinising officer conduct, including his.

Or perhaps the TAFF has been reconstituted as a “joint body” with EDDC proper whilst our backs were turned!  Speaking of which:  can anyone tell us when, where and why, if at all, a resolution to treat EDBF as a “joint body” was ever discussed, debated and agreed by EDDC (which committee, what date, what number resolution)?  Maybe a reference to a chapter and page in Cross on Local Authority Law would help!

Which reminds us, we still haven’t had the page or chapter reference from that same book as to why the TAFF cannot discuss planning and planning applications because it would be “unlawful” according to the Chief Executive (see posts below between a resident and the Chief Executive Officer of EDDC on this) when it appears from internet research that other TAFFs in other councils seem able to do so.

And remember:  the Localism Act gave councils a general power of competence which, according to the government is a new power available to local authorities in England that will allow them to do “anything that individuals generally may do”.

The guidance document quoted on this above goes on …..

…. we will expand the scope for local democracy. Instead of local councillors never being completely sure what is permitted and what is ultra vires, we shall give a power of general competence to all local authoritie sto carry out whatever activities are not expressly forbidden by statute.”

…..It is both patronising and absurd that councils can only act on a local issue if they have a specific mandate to do so. We’re going to change that by trusting local authorities with a “general power of competence” that will free them to carry out any lawful activity on behalf of their community. That way, instead of endlessly looking up to Whitehall for permission, our councils will be looking to local people for direction. ….

….. We will therefore introduce [and have now introduced] a new general power of competence which gives local authorities an explicit freedom to act in the best interests of their voters, unhindered by the absence of specific legislation supporting their actions. No action – except raising taxes, which requires specific parliamentary approval – will any longer be ‘beyond the powers’ of local government in England, unless the local authority is prevented from taking that action by the common law, specific legislation or statutory guidance. …..

Mr Williams has so far failed to prove that the TAFF’s actions would be unlawful as he has pointed to no common law, specific legislation or statutory guidance that substantiates his advice.  To do this, he must give the TAFF and the public the specific source of his advice.  Simply saying that it is so does not make it so.

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