As I said yesterday, I did get a reply from Cllr Walsh but only after he had seen my reply to Mr Hendry, see yesterday’s post.
His advice was that I hadn’t taken into account the full constitution although I think I had. Nonetheless, I took his advice and read it again. The subsequent email sent to Mr Hendry is pasted below. Despite the fact this was sent 1st thing this morning, I have had no reply. Here is my email of today.
From: Breslin, Michael Sent: 12 May 2015 07:37 To: Hendry, Douglas Cc: Dance, Vivien; Marshall, Bruce; Walsh, Dick; Loudon, Sally Subject: RE: service choices project board [OFFICIAL]
Douglas, after I sent my reply yesterday evening, I got an email from Cllr Walsh, text pasted below.
You now have in your possession polite advice from both the Council’ Chief Executive and Executive Director of Customer Service. As a further help to you I would suggest you read the totality of the constitution. Clear precedent exists for the process that is now ongoing. There is absolutely no need to write to officers in the tone that you do. I have no comment to make on what one member thinks and says to you. I respond in the timeframe appropriate to my work priority.
As always, I took his advice and have gone through the “totality” of the constitution again. I can see no provision whatsoever to create a body which has the powers, once formed, to completely ignore the standing orders. Further, I can see no provision to get members of any such body to agree to meet in secret. Perhaps I am missing something Douglas so when you reply, please point out the specific provisions of the constitution that allow all of this.
Cllr Walsh refers to “precedent”. You and I both know that if the preceding instances of such a body were not founded on the constitution, then they were as unconstitutional as this instance is. Precedence, therefore, is not a justification, is it Douglas?
I look forward to your further reply today please Douglas. And, for the record, I have also reviewed my email of yesterday evening. I don’t detect any of the “tone” that Cllr Walsh detected. Any “tone” might have been caused by my being mystified as to the constitutional basis for this “project board” that meets in secret and ignores standing orders.
If you did detect such a “tone” please accept my apologies in advance Douglas for the sin of being baffled.
When I get a reply I will publish it but I am more and more convinced that the “project board” is an unconstitutional construct devised by Cllr Walsh and others to remove proper scrutiny from elected members and the public. This is wholly unacceptable and those responsible need to be held to account.