Did councillors know what they were voting for on Wednesday?

28 Feb

We only ask because, of course, most of them were excluded from secret talks way above their level and (in theory) have never had full information about the move as we know that certain councillors have never been allowed to see the information.

So, we have two scenarios:

Yes, they did know – in which case we would seem to have a situation where confidential information was disclosed only to members of one party which would certainly be immoral and possibly illegal and certainly something that the Monitoring Officer would need to deal with

or

No, they didn’t know and voted blindly without knowing exactly what they were voting for.  In which case, why would they ALL vote that way – without being whipped?

Confusing and rather worrying.

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2 Responses to “Did councillors know what they were voting for on Wednesday?”

  1. Conrad Black February 28, 2014 at 11:03 pm #

    Is this the point at which you launch a full-scale submission for judicial review? If information has been deliberately withheld from Councillors and they are then required to vote on it that is a calculated and deliberate abuse of process, and any decisions taken as a result of that abuse therefore null and void. Those acting knowingly to pervert the democratic process are presumably personally liable for costs incurred as a result of that abuse. Personal liability would apply to both Councillors who connived to withhold information and also to officers who failed to prevent the abuse when they had a duty in the public interest. Strangely, the first stage of the complaint would be to the Chief Executive, however you can serve a notice with a time limitation (28 days sounds about right) after which any failure to act allows a direct complaint and one does not have to wait forever hoping for a reply.

  2. GRaham March 1, 2014 at 10:23 am #

    After the meeting I spoke with a Sidmouth councillor who is a DMC member saying he had let down his constituents. He then claimed he was representing the people of East Devon and not Sidmouth. I asked him about the cost to refurbish the 1970 offices but all he could quote was the exaggerated figure for the gold plated refurb of £15m for the total footprint. He clearly was unable to provide a figure for retrofitting the purpose built offices. As such he is either withholding info or he is ignorant of the true costings. In which case how would he (or others) be able to make an objective decision on whether or not to support the business case for Sky Park move without knowing the full range of options?

    Graham
    Sidmouth

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