When 12 become 4

Performance and Policy Scrutiny Panel

12 expected, 4 turn up

Only 4 out of the 12 Councillors expected to attend  a meeting of the Policy and Performance Scrutiny Panel scheduled for Wednesday (January  11) actually turned up on the night.

The Chair, Cllr Pamela Holden-Brown, was joined by Cllr’s Grejewski, Mignot and Sullivan while Vice Chair Tonia Craig, along with Cllr’s Cross, Noyce, M Sollitt, Wright, Davies-Dear and Welsh couldn’t make it as neither did non-committee member Cllr Airey

Nevertheless Councillor Holden-Brown announced the meeting could proceed as the minimum number of members required to form a quorum is, according to standing orders, just three.

Last month a meeting of Hedge End Town Council Community and Culture Committee had to be scrapped after an insufficient number of councillors were available.

On that occasion Cllr Dan Clarke – who in addition to being a Town Councillor is also a Borough and a Parish councillor – was unable to attend because he had prioritised duties elsewhere.

On Wednesday it would seem that Cllr Tony Noyce had decided to attend a conflicting meeting of West End Parish Council – where he is the Chair.

It was therefore a somewhat depleted committee – in fact half the number (8) that was present at December’s meeting  –  that heard a verbal update from the Community Safety Team on crime and disorder in the Borough and were able to take part in the review of council grants for sponsored bodies in 2012.

A Member of the Public, John Martin (a UKIP activist) had to present a complaint to much smaller audience then he had anticipated.

Ironically the complaint concerned the lack of performance by the Scrutiny panels in relation to the recent decision by full Council to back the purchase of the Rose Bowl cricket ground.

An added difficulty was that out of the four councillors who were present on Wednesday, only two had attended the full Council meeting on December 13, however the lack of potential speakers enabled the Chair to allow Mr Martin the time he needed to present his case.

The next meeting of the Performance and Policy Scrutiny is on February 29.

See also: Councillor concedes two hat difficulty

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  14 comments for “When 12 become 4

  1. January 13, 2012 at 7:46 pm

    Yes, this does seem to be a problem across the Borough. Not turning up for these committee meetings is a poor show…

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      January 13, 2012 at 7:54 pm

      Well I know Cllr Wright was unwell and Cllr Noyce had ‘two hat syndrome’ – but they can’t all be sick or at other meetings.

      Rather than paying councillors their allowance regardless of the number of meetings they attend I would like to see a system of fines in place.

      Does this happen at other councils?

  2. Peter Stewart
    January 13, 2012 at 7:56 pm

    Are we REALLY surprised? Since democracy was officially scrapped in 1972 with the ratification by the then Conservative Government of the treasonous European Communities Act, the result has been increasing apathy caused by a growing awareness that whoever you vote for in THIS country, it makes no difference to policies because our laws are increasingly being applied by a foreign power (the EU). The end result is apathy from voters and politicians.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      January 13, 2012 at 8:03 pm

      I expect apathy from voters not paid members.

  3. January 13, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    A lack of attendance at meetings is a shocking way to represent the electorate who placed thier trust and indeed thier vote with the respective councillor.

    You also have to ask, is the number of councillors on the ruling or majority party good for local democracy where you are in control and do not have to worry about colleagues attendance because you have the balance of power across the board.

    This is where Ray Turners e-petition must surely come into the picture where it is concerned about people who get into public life and collect positions of authority like a person would collect….hats for instance.

    Is it any wonder that there are low turnouts at elections. Change can and will ocurr when there is an alternative to mainstream parties who abuse and use voters to thier own ends.

    You have a chance to change this in May.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      January 13, 2012 at 8:28 pm

      This councillor has collected enough hats to start a milliners!


  4. January 13, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Cllr Welsh is also chair of Hedge End Town Council Recreation and Amenities Committee which met on 11th and explains why she was not at the srutiny panel.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      January 13, 2012 at 8:52 pm

      Really? Another Two Hatter? I wouldn’t have known that from her register of interests. Although she has listed her membership of the Carnival committee and Village Hall management she hasn’t listed her position as Chair of HETC.
      I know HETC is a body that can influence policy at EBC because EBC asks the Town Council for it’s views on Planning policy.

      Seems some councillors declare their membership of Parish Councls while others don’t.

      Cllr Clarke mentions he is on West End PC but not HETC.

      Cllr Noyce doesn’t mention WEPC although he is the Chair.

      What is the protocol?

  5. phil_naylor
    January 13, 2012 at 8:41 pm

    John Edwards is right. These stay away councilors are showing contempt for the electorate and arrogant complacency.

  6. January 13, 2012 at 8:55 pm

    I think Cllr Welsh made absolutely the right decision to prioritise the Recreation and Amenities Committee meeting.

    The question that raises in my mind though, is how often to these two meetings clash and how often does Cllr Welsh have to miss the Scrutiny Panel…?

    If non-attendance is commonplace, because of the dual-hat problem, perhaps it would be appropriate to resign the position on the Scrutiny panel….?

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      January 13, 2012 at 9:11 pm

      I am afraid I can’t agree. Cllr Welsh is being paid an allowance to carry out her duties as a Borough councillor – this includes scrutiny.
      This should come first.
      Also the Items under discussion at the scrutiny panel were extremely important for the Borough and it’s residents and deserved more than the attention of just four members.

      • January 13, 2012 at 9:46 pm

        I see your point, the Scrutiny panel is important, but surely if one is the chair of a committee one should prioritise that over everything else…?

        Imagine the headline I’d write if a meeting had to be cancelled because a quorum couldn’t be formed and even the chairperson didn’t turn-up…

  7. Peter Stewart
    January 14, 2012 at 10:21 am

    I reiterate, what we are seeing here and talking about here is APATHY caused by 38 years of EU ANTI-DEMOCRACY.

    Those of you old enough to remember this great country before the end of democracy in 1972 (I realize it was 1st January 1973 when the European Communities Act came into force but it was ratified in 1972) will vividly remember that a change of Government meant a radical change of policy and feeling.

    After 1972, as time went on and more and more EU diktats were imposed on our politicians, it became more and more evident that it made absolutely no difference which Government you elected.

    Consequently the people eventually began to resign themselves to the de facto one party State (which is what we have). It is a sobering thought that we have not been able to change our government for 38 years (yes! our “government” in reality is the EU) and we have no power in elections to vote ourselves out of it.

    So over the years APATHY has grown like a cancer and more and more people have resigned themselves to the fact that their vote is meaningless.

    Nigel Farage has repeatedly said that you can’t get a fag paper between the three main parties. It’s true. They ALL support our continued annexation by this foreign power which disguises itself as the “EU”. What an appalling situation. This “EU”, which has not ratified its own accounts for the last 16 years. This “EU” which sucks £ billions from British tax payers when our own infrastructure is crumbling. This “EU” whose own doomed currency is even now falling apart.

    So there is no point in hammering the LibDems. That is just chasing democratic shadows. The root problem is our subjugation by the EU. Until we leave the EU, until we break the anti-democratic stranglehold, until voters have the sense to vote for alternative parties as John has noted, this APATHY will continue and Britain will continue with its open borders to allow our “partners” to flood in and destroy our own jobs as well as allowing our fat cat globalist entrepreneurs to exchange our precious manufacturing base for nothing more than cheap foreign goods.


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