Monday, 25 January 2010

Secret Council offices plan will stay secret

I have just arrived at County Hall to attend a special cabinet meeting which will be debating the route partnership link between Cornwall and Scilly and the budget for next year. It's going to be a huge meeting - and would have been bigger still had the proposal to sell off the old NCDC offices in Wadebridge not been taken off at the last minute.

The Cabinet Member for Finance - Jim Currie - decided to withdraw the paper after the rough ride that the proposals got at last week's scrutiny meeting. It had become clear that the claimed consultation had not happened and that the paper was a mess.

We felt the same about the previous paper misleadingly titled 'Office Accommodation Vision'. That proposed the sale of 48 council offices but officers and cabinet members refused to say which ones.

A secret plan such as this will massively harm the council's services and so the Lib Dems decided to call the decision in - that is, to demand answers to the questions which cabinet members refused to answer and possibly to ask Cabinet to reconsider its decision.

In what I think is a very regrettable decision, the officer in charge has refused to allow the call in to happen claiming that a secret plan is perfectly allowable.

And so the people of Cornwall will remain in the dark about the Conservative's secret plan to sell off council buildings and further centralise in Truro.

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