Thanks to the new Labour administration, the Edgbaston Councillors have been told to cancel tomorrow night’s Constituency meeting. The May 29th date had been well publicised in advance, and indeed was even printed as a provisional date in the Council diary. But if you were planning to come tomorrow – please don’t.
Labour have scapped the Constituency Committees, and renamed them District Committees. They have also changed the whole way they are run. In future, the meetings are to be held during the day time in the Council House (like committees such as Planning or Scrutiny) and members of the public won’t be able to speak as they have previously.
Council meetings are open to the public, so members of the public who are free in the day time can still come and listen. But they will find themselves sitting round the edge of the room, not facing the committee (as with the old Constituency Committees) and only allowed to speak at the discretion of the Chairman. There is no right to speak as there has been up till now, and no section to question Councillors about local matters.
I apologise to anyone who was planning to come to tomorrow’s meeting, or who has enjoyed and joined in with the old format. It is entirely down to the new Labour administration that this local forum and the right to speak for members of the public has been curtailed. The Edgbaston Councillors didn’t choose to cancel tomorrow night’s meeting, we simply got an email from Democratic Services telling us it was.
So much for Labour’s claims that there would be more consultation under them (as was put on some election leaflets). Actions speak louder than words!