August meeting of Copeland Council

Copeland Council met this afternoon at Millom School.

A large part of the afternoon was taken up with the Council Executive report and questions. Much of this was political knockabout with planted questions from Labour backbenchers to Labour executive members used to make a lot of noises about cuts from the coalition government.

Of course, since the previous Labour government had admitted before the election that they would have had to make £40 billion of cuts had they been re-elected most of these cuts would have happened anyway.

Other issues raised included

* New contract standing orders were approved by the council

* Concern was expressed at the lack of adequate publicity and information about issues like amended bus timetables when the road from Cleator Moor to Whitehaven was closed at Keekle for planned repairs

* There was a "Part II" discussion about the Tesco site in Whitehaven. What this means is that the council discussed this issue in private. The fact that the discussion was taking place was on the council agenda and is not a secret: there are good reasons, within the law, why the details of the discussion cannot yet be made public. Once any decision or agreement is made, however, the details will be made public.


Jane said…
The amateur dramatics from the Labour Executive was a poor show. It was quite obvious, from the position of an observing member of the public, that the questions from their own back-benches were planted. It is fortunate that other than a journalist, I was the only one present, because the performance would only invite cynicism. All a great diversion from the reality that Copeland's ruling Executive is probably the most incompetent in the country.

Labour behaved in a predictable manner. It can hide its own incompetence by attacking the Coalition Government. I did not know whether to laugh or get angry when, Leader of the Council, Elaine Woodburn began her rant against the Government by saying that she did not want to get political. It was rich when she said that the Coalition had taken back some of the money "pledged" by previous Government for the West Cumbria Hospital. The money was fictional and the Coalition had to find it from the greatly diminished pot. The BSF fantasy funding also continues to rear its ugly head.

I expect this response is a sign of times to come particularly in the run up to the District Council elections next May. I guess as an opposition it will be our role inside and outside the Council's meetings to provide the public with true information. I was relieved that Cllr. Yvonne Clarkson managed to get in a short response before being silenced by the Chair (Conservatives are not allowed to be political even in response to Labour being party political) by reminding Elaine Woodburn that Labour would have had to make cuts as Liam Byrne admitted the money was spent. Labour knowing it would lose the General Election did the Pontius Pilate act of washing their hands of responsibility by failing to say where the axe would fall. It was badly done Cllr. Woodburn!

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