Friday, 26 August 2011

Executive Board; Pantecelyn, Day Centres and Filming Council Meetings

I see that the Agenda has been published for the next Executive Board meeting on the 5th September 2011 (10 am). There are three items of interest, in this order; 'School Reorganisation', the closure of the Day centres for the frail and elderly, and proposals about the filming of council meetings.

The closure (or 'rationalisation') of Pantecelyn Secondary School is of particular concern to me. This follows the 'admin error' when the decision to issue the Statutory Notice to close was made in the 4th July meeting rather than the September meeting as published in the Consultation Document. The Council have gone to some lengths to insist that 'no one was prejudiced' by the 'error'. I am not sure if that is for them to decide or those campaigning to keep the school open but in the interests of 'transparency and openness' (sic) the decision to issue the Notice will be rubber stamped (see 'ratified') at this meeting. Anyway, I hear that questions for Cllr Woodridge (Education Portfolio) have been sent in and will hopefully be fairly considered.
(please see link to the meeting at the end of this post)

Day Centres
Readers will be aware that the row over the Day Centres closures was immediately prior to my arrest on the 8th June. Cllr Sian Caiach and Cllr Arthur Davies have submitted a Notice of Motion to reverse decisions made to close the clubs.

"There is an urgent need to review the policy on closure of Day Clubs and Day Centres for the elderly. It is particularly concerning that there has been very little notice given and no prior consultation before making radical changes. it will have a severe impact on our frail elderly in this worsening economic situation. These services not only give support to users through social interaction but also providing vital respite for their carers. With drawal of this service can only result in further increased dependency and possible need for residential care"

I very much hope they are successful.
I have provided a link to the Agenda at the end of this post for further details.

Filming Meetings
Clearly of interest to me, this Notice of Motion by Cllr Arthur Davies reads thus;

"It is proposed that the council should;
a) Provide videoed recordings of council meetings in response to public demand thereby demonstrating that the council is open, transparent and fully accountable.
b) Allow any members of the public to record the meetings with the proviso that they don't seek to obstruct or disrupt the proceedings.
c) Utilise the existing sound recording equipment in the interim to provide verbal recording while tenders are obtained for installing video equipment."

I will not repeat everything I have said about filming meetings here as my views are clear. As the council have made vague promises to consider webcasting meetings, I predict that a) will be kicked into touch for now. However, I will wait to see what is said at the meeting.

I shall, of course, be very interested to hear the Executive Board's comments on b).

I would also rather like to be a fly on the wall at the private briefing between officers and Executive Board members prior to the public meeting.

(and further details on all issues here can be searched for on this blog)


Cneifiwr said...

Well done to Cllrs Caiach and Davies for submitting the motions on day centres and filming, but the chances of either going before the full council are slim.

There have been press reports that the transfer of the day centres to the WRVS and Age Concern have not been as smooth as the council would have us believe in its press releases. The withdrawal by the council of transport to the centres means that without sufficient volunteer drivers, people from outlying villages will be stuck at home, unable to use the service.

After the debacle over the closure of Capel Iwan school (the school with no pupils that had to remain "open" for a year), you'd have thought the council would have learned its lesson about conducting public consultations correctly.

Photon said...

Well done to Ciach and Davies for bringing this motion forward. I fail to see how any democratically-elected member could not support this. Will how each councillor votes be recorded?

As for admin errors, councils are under a legal obligation to undertake their duties according to statute. Like the rest of us, councils are accountable to the courts if they fail to do so.

Anonymous said...

Sorry to sound pedantic but its Pantycelyn and not Pantecelyn :)