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I am an East Riding of Yorkshire and Bridlington Town Councillor elected to represent Bridlington South Ward. The views and posts on this site are my personal views and are not those of East Riding of Yorkshire Council or Bridlington Town Council. If you become a member of this Blog I will expect you to adhere to posting comments that are not offensive or illegal.

Saturday, 27 July 2013

Question to ERYC Full Council 24th July 2013 and my reply


(d) Councillor Finlay asked whether the Leader considered it to be appropriate for
the Deputy Leader in that capacity to make disrespectful remarks in the press about East Riding of Yorkshire residents making a legitimate protest, calling them whingers and moaners.

Councillor Parnaby replied.

I asked the question in response to complaints from ERYC residents to a letter written by Cllr Owen to the Bridlington Free Press.
I have not agreed or disagreed with the aims of the Justice for Bridlington Group but as their elected Ward Councillor I have to listen to what they have to say.

The question was a procedural/policy one in relation to the use of the Deputy Leader’s position when making statements to the Press. This was not about the rights and wrongs of an argument. Obviously every Ward Councillor has a right to voice their views but only in that capacity. Every Ward Councillor also has a duty to treat their residents with respect.

We have a Constitution which states:

1.01 Powers of the Council

The Council will exercise all its powers and duties in accordance with the law and this

1.02 The Constitution
This Constitution, and all its appendices, is the Constitution of East Riding of Yorkshire
The purpose of the Constitution is to:-

enable the Council to provide clear leadership to the community in partnership with
citizens, businesses and other organisations;

support the active involvement of citizens in the process of local authority decisionmaking;

help Councillors represent their constituents more effectively;

enable decisions to be taken efficiently and effectively;

create a powerful and effective means of holding decision-makers to public account;

ensure that no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly


ensure that those responsible for decision making are clearly identifiable to local people

and that they explain the reasons for decisions, and

provide a means of improving the delivery of services to the community.

Link to Constitution

I did not mention the Justice for Brid Group in my question but the terminology used when referring to our residents who were trying to be actively involved in the process of local authority decision making as stated in the constitution.
I have also asked the question why we do not put in the Minutes what the reply was.  In this day of technology a transcript would be easy to do and would enable residents who are unable to attend Full Council due to the distance to travel and work commitments a chance to read or hear the reply.

We have to remember as a Council that it is council tax payers that help fund the services we offer.  One of those services is the elected representatives who are there to do just that. We are not there to score petty political points as was suggested or make personal attacks on people that question the decisions that are made.
The Leader made personal attacks on the Labour Group indicating  that we don’t turn up or contribute anything of purpose.  A Labour member has sat on every Review Panel over the last two years and I have sat on the following:


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What is the process of a review panel?
A chairman and other review panel members are appointed who direct the course of the review and determine how the topic will be scrutinised. Review panels are supported by an overview and scrutiny officer who carries out research on behalf of the group and drafts the final report. Other council officers and where relevant, external bodies, are also involved in the process, providing information as and when required.

At the end of the review, the review panel will produce a draft report setting out its recommendations. This report goes forward to the relevant overview and scrutiny sub-committee and then to the Overview Management Committee who will comment on the recommendations. Following this, the report is then received by the Cabinet before then being discussed by the full Council.
A Labour member sits on all the Committees including Planning Committees, Licensing Committees, hearings etc. We play an active part in all Council business despite having only 6 members to 53 Conservatives.
On the same note I did not have a right to reply to the over 10 minutes answer but could have asked a supplementary question based on the answer given.  I did not ask a supplementary question as I decided not to give the Leader another platform to continue in the vein he had taken.   
Echoing the opening statement by Cllr Parnaby in his reply, I too will defend the right of my residents to have their say, as he defends his Deputy Leader. Oh and he might find that the original quote (rightly or wrongly) is commonly attributed to Voltaire not a US President.

The reply - sort of: