IT hitch puts councillors on the spot over finances
governance was not being followed.
Conservative group leader Tom Giffard seconded the request, saying the correct protocol had not been followed and, as a result, councillors hadn’t had time to properly scrutinise the revised programme.
Changes in the capital programme which needed approval included an additional £200,000 for the construction of the £10.8m Pencoed Primary School, an extra £170,000 for the planned extensions to Porthcawl and North Cornelly cemeteries (now £530,000), and a further £70,000 for a new classroom at Cwmfelin Primary School (now £235,000).
It also included £1.6m to purchase replacement highway maintenance vehicles, and almost £350,000 to buy new computers.
Councillor Ken Edwards (Llynfi Independents) asked the council leader to give assurances there would be more time to consider changes in the capital programme when future reports were published.
Officers said there was very little change to the capital programme agreed in February 2018 and the report was simply providing an update and summarising key changes.
Council leader Huw David (Labour) told councillors they could “effectively scrutinise” the proposals during the meeting.
He said an identical report had been scrutinised by cabinet members the day before and as a result it had been available in the cabinet papers for the previous seven days.
He said: “There has been opportunity for members to ask pertinent questions over the last week. I do understand the concerns and the monitoring officer has already apologised over the glitch which meant they did not appear on the full council papers.”
Chief executive Darren Mepham said the urgency provision within the agenda existed precisely to allow the council to do business “in a timely way”.
Cabinet member Charles Smith (Labour) called the requests to postpone the report for further scrutiny “grandstanding”.
And Councillor JonPaul Blundell (Labour) said the full council meeting was the place to scrutinise the report, adding: “To put this off and hold the council to hostage is wrong.” In the end Cllr Clarke’s request to defer the report was voted down by 26 to 21.
A further debate then took place over the funding changes and councillors unanimously approved the revised capital programme as it appeared in the report.
Further discussion will take place when the capital programme is approved in February as part of the annual budget-setting process.
Bridgend County Borough Council offices