Coun­cil forced into U-turn over meet­ing

The Oban Times - - News -

AN EMER­GENCY meet­ing for coun­cil­lors to dis­cuss a ‘ weak’ re­port into the state of ed­u­ca­tion man­age­ment in Ar­gyll and Bute Coun­cil has been called.

Ini­tially, coun­cil of­fi­cers re­fused to hold the meet­ing, but af­ter nine coun­cil­lors pe­ti­tioned against the de­ci­sion the meet­ing will be held to­mor­row (Fri­day April 7).

James Robb, the elected mem­ber who co- or­di­nated sup­port for the coun­cil spe­cial meet­ing, said: ‘Al­low­ing coun­cil­lors a meet­ing to dis­cuss se­ri­ous is­sues would be nor­mal in any other coun­cil but it is news in Ar­gyll and Bute.

‘[Af­ter my re­quest] the chief ex­ec­u­tive op­posed it, the coun­cil leader op­posed it, the act­ing ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor of ed­u­ca­tion op­posed it and the provost re­fused it. A small vic­tory for democ­racy and my thanks to col­leagues who sup­ported me in this.’

An ar­chaic rule in the coun­cil is that if elected mem­bers want to hold a meet­ing they must get sup­port from at least nine coun­cil­lors.

A no­tice sent to all coun­cil­lors from ‘ coun­cil man­age- ment’ reads: ‘I have re­ceived no­tice from a suf­fi­cient num­ber of Mem­bers in terms of Coun­cil Stand­ing Or­der 1.3.2 to ar­range a Spe­cial Meet­ing of the Coun­cil.’

Stand­ing Or­der 1.3.2 reads: ‘One-fourth of the mem­bers of the coun­cil want one [a meet­ing] to be held; if they do, they must all sign a no­tice which must be given to the Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor – Cus­tomer Ser­vices and the no­tice must set out the busi­ness which th­ese mem­bers wish the coun­cil to con­sider at that meet­ing.’

Coun­cil­lor James Robb won sup­port from other mem­bers.

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