'No scrutiny' at recent council meeting, says opposition

Adrian Williams

Adrian Williams

adrianw@baylismedia.co.uk

Opposition councillors have criticised the way an important council meeting was organised – saying it left no room for proper scrutiny.

During the council meeting on Monday night, Cllr Lynne Jones (OWRA, Old Windsor) raised concerns about the fact that councillors had only six days to examine the draft corporate plan, which sets out five-year targets for the borough.

Further, Cllr Wisdom Da Costa (WWRA, Clewer & Dedworth West) has criticised the fact that non-panel members were not permitted to ask questions during in the meeting.

“Councillors were effectively excluded from scrutiny. This was a masterclass in paying lip-service to scrutiny,” he said to the Advertiser.

A council spokesperson said: “Officers received 64 questions submitted in writing and answered in advance of the session on Monday, with the answers published as a supplement to the agenda, which demonstrates the council’s open approach.

“Answering those questions at the meeting (all from non-panel members) would unfortunately have meant that none of the panel members themselves would have had time to discuss the item on the agenda where they could put their questions to officers.

“Non-panel members with further questions were still able to ask a panel member to raise these for them.

“This approach helped to identify areas of discussion in advance, which helped with ensuring that relevant officers were available to attend and support the panel’s discussion.”

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