September 29th, 2016

Row breaks out over council children’s services meeting

Row breaks out over council children’s services meeting Row breaks out over council children’s services meeting
Updated: 9:08 am, Jul 01, 2016

OUTRAGE has broken out among councillors after a meeting to discuss the future of Children’s Services throughout Worcestershire had to be postponed because the public had not been notified.

The discussion was meant to take place on Tuesday (June 28) after proposals had been made to transfer responsibility of certain centres to schools.

The meeting was postponed by Chairman Richard Uddal who claims he discovered a council officer had refused to put out a press release, to inform the public so they could attend, like he had asked.

“I consider this to be an interference with the democratic will of the members who have called in the scrutiny and an interference with the independence of scrutiny.

“I will not tolerate senior officers of the council interfering with the political process. I shall be making a formal complaint to the Chief Executive.

“All I wanted was for the Worcestershire public to be made aware of the meeting. When the meeting is rearranged I will ensure plenty of public notice will be provided.”

Labour leader Coun Peter McDonald said: “This is absolutely shocking and disgraceful that a chief officer should try and stop the workings of a democratically elected body trying to fulfill their obligations and duties to those who elected them.

“This issue of cutting back on Children’s Centre Buildings means the cutting back on services so vitally important to families and the lives of our future generations.

“There is no room in local government for chief officers who try and stop by stealth members of the public knowing when a meeting is to be held.”

The meeting has been rescheduled for today (Friday) at 9am at County Hall and the council has published this in a press release on their website for the public.

A spokesperson for Worcestershire county Council said: “ As with any other meeting, this meeting was published on the council’s public website last week.

“The chairman took the decision to postpone the meeting to enable the publication of the meeting date wider and potentially get greater public participation. All our public meetings