More Cheshire East incompetence?

Cheshire East Councillors is sporting yet more egg on its corporate face, as an administration error forced a critical meeting to be cancelled.

The meeting, relating to the need to improve its inadequate children’s services, had to be abandoned – because the requisite notification papers hadn’t been published in time.

The agenda for the children and families committee meeting was published in time, but an appendices detailing the improvement plan itself and the finance papers relating to it wasn’t.

Government legislation states that all councils must publish agendas and papers for public meetings at least five working days before the date of the meeting.

Children and Families Committee chair, Councillor Carol Bulman

As the meeting started, the Committee’s Chair, Labour councillor Carol Bulman, was challenged over the legality of discussing the improvement plan.

Conservative councillor for Poynton, Jos Saunders said: “Because the constitution has not been abided by, we shouldn’t even be discussing the item because none of my group have had time to read the paper and there is no scrutiny process in place.” She then proposed the meeting be deferred.

Congleton Conservative councillor George Hayes said there was no issue with the item per se ‘but we are sitting here in breach of our own constitution’.

Nantwich Labour councillor Geoff Smith said: “We have a responsibility to the children and the young people to put an action plan together and this needs to go to council, in my opinion, as soon as possible.”

The meeting was adjourned until next Tuesday.

Evidently it’s not just the council’s Children’s Services that are inadequate – council tax payers are left wondering if there’s any limit to the council’s inadequacy.

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