Extra meeting will be held to debate Devon care cuts

18:30 31 March 2014

Barnstaple County Councillor Brian Greenslade has welcomed news of an extraordinary meeting in May to discuss care cuts.

Barnstaple County Councillor Brian Greenslade has welcomed news of an extraordinary meeting in May to discuss care cuts.

Archant

Exeter County Hall meeting on May 14 will consider the outcome of care cuts consultations after Lib Dems invoked rules to force the additional meeting on to the calendar.

AN extraordinary meeting of Devon County Council has been convened for Wednesday, May 14 to discuss the results of the care cuts consultations.

It will take place at County Hall in Exeter from 2.15pm and has come about after Liberal Democrat councillors invoked council rules to call for the meeting.

They had claimed it was to prevent the Conservative majority taking decisions on the closure of day care centres, residential homes and youth centres ‘behind closed doors’, alleging the fate of many was being delegated to DCC cabinet members.

The agenda for the extra meeting has yet to be published, but councillors have been told it will ‘raise matters relating to members’ consideration of the outcome of consultations on recent and current reviews’.

It will also deal with the resignation from the council of the former cabinet member for children, schools and skills, Councillor Will Mumford.

Barnstaple County Councillor Brian Greenslade welcomed news of the meeting and said: “The views of ordinary members of the public can be heard by all county councillors and debated in public rather than for decisions to be delegated to a small number of cabinet members meeting behind closed doors.”

But he also questioned why the additional meeting was to take place the day before the Annual Meeting of the Council on May 15, instead of on the same day to save money.

He also queried DCC Leader John Hart’s ‘disingenuous’ statements last week which claimed the method of decisions making was the same as when the Lib Dems ran the council.

“When I was Leader at the head of a Lib Dem majority there were never any such proposals to make cuts of this scale,” he said.

“Neither would we have delegated such significant service changes to individual county councillors to take behind closed doors.

“We understand the world is now different given the scale of cuts to Government support for local government but that is no excuse for not following an open and democratic process.”

The North Devon Gazette has contacted DCC to ask if the council or Mr Hart wish to respond to Mr Greenslade’s comments.

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