Thursday, 17 May 2012

Bizarre cabinet pronouncements on stadium decision

A couple of days ago Cornwall Council was asked to choose between two options on the stadium project. The option that got most votes was an outright rejection of the idea of any council funding. Anyone in the room would be absolutely clear that this was what those who voted were calling for.

The other option was the one I voted for - it said that there needed to be a proper business case put forward for the scheme and that the full council was entitled to see that  (and the answers to other significant questions) before taking a decision. Many of us were opposed in principle to council funding but did not feel able to rule it out without having an unbiased study in front of us.

Although a few people made the case for funding, no vote was held on that option and I suspect that if one were then it would be defeated by 90 votes to 10.

Even though my preferred option was defeated, I believe that the will of the majority should prevail and the Cabinet would be committing political suicide if they ignore it.

On the radio that evening, the Leader of the Council made the extraordinary claim that the result of the vote was unclear. I am told that there was a furious row with one advocate of the losing option who the Leader claimed had 'wrecked' the plan.

Today I received an email from Cllr Graeme Hicks which said:
"It was a very close vote and I believe the cabinet should look at this again and consider making a financial contribution to this extemely important project."
It seems extraordinary that the Cabinet should be seeking to ignore the wishes of the full council in this way. But at least Cllr Hicks made his position clear and voting during the debate. Despite it being made clear that all cabinet members could vote on the proposal with no risk of prejudicing their future decision-making capabilities, all but one of the Tory cabinet members sat on their hands. If  the council leader backs putting cash in then surely he should have proposed such a motion and voted for it.

No comments: