The Conservatives’ request for a call in on the Cabinet decision about the roll out of wheelie bins across the city was heard at Scrutiny this morning. No matter which side of the fence you’re on, no-one can deny that the subject has generated considerable interest in Birmingham (you only have to look back at the letter pages of the Birmingham Mail over the past 12 months to know that).
So, with the meeting taking place in Rooms 3 & 4 – the room where live screening takes place, and the microphones in place, you might have thought they would live screen the meeting. I’m sure there would have been some interested viewers.
However so much for transparent Government. On this issue of interest to Brummies, the Labour Council decreed there was to be NO live screening of the meeting.
It was an interesting hour and a half debate though, and at the end the Chairman took the votes on the four different requests for call in individually. On the fourth and final one that there was “a substantial lack of clarity, material inaccuracy or insufficient information provided in the report to allow the Overview & Scrutiny Committee to hold the Executive to account and/or add value to the work of the Council” Councillors from all three parties (Conservative, Lib Dem and Labour) voted that the decision should be called in, and the request tabled by me and Cllr Robert Alden was only thrown out by the casting vote of the Labour Chairman.
So the Cabinet Member doesn’t have to go back for a second look and the plan will be implemented – but it was a close run thing.