There was a bizarre Council meeting at Shire Hall yesterday. As is normal the Council debated recent Cabinet meetings including the one of 21 Apr 09 which included the item ‘Guided Busway: contract update’. Problem was Cabinet got its update in private with press and public excluded from the meeting. And the report of the meeting simply says ‘Cabinet has now received and noted the latest confidential update on the current contractual position’.
This meant that it made some sense for the debate in full Council also to be in private session and a motion to exclude the press and public was moved. This was when Alice in Wonderland stepped in because it was then moved that the debate about this motion also be in private. You can see how this could go on and on …. However a procedural way through was found and we ended up having (a) a debate in private about having debates in private, and (b) a debate in private about the Cabinet’s private discussions. Curiouser and curiouser.
County Councillor David Jenkins says: ‘Net result of all this is I can tell you nothing. I don’t even know if I can tell you if I know anything. This leaves the voters of Cambridgeshire ill-informed about the state of the Guided Bus project. They know it will be late, they know that not all of it will be built an they are aware that the County Council and BAM Nuttalls are in a contractual stand-off.’
‘What I can tell you is that the Lib Dems don’t like this secrecy and that they were supported by the Labour group as they voted against having the first debate in closed session. Since we were by then in closed session I guess I can’t tell you about how councillors voted in the second vote.’