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Labour call for Cheshire West and Chester Council decisions to be published

Published date: 10 December 2013 |
Published by: David Powell 
Read more articles by David Powell  Email reporter


 

LABOUR councillors have called for the open publication of all council decisions in the wake of the Chester Bus Exchange fiasco.

Opposition councillors are to put forward a motion at the next full meeting of Cheshire West and Chester Council on Thursday in a bid to make council chiefs more accountable to residents.

The motion, put forward by Cllr Alex Tate, Lache, and Cllr Tony Sherlock, Grange and Rossmore, Ellesmere Port, comes after council chiefs were criticised of their handling of the botched Chester Bus Exchange refurbishment, when details of the were not made available to ward councillors.

At an audit and governance meeting last month, CWaC chiefs apologised for their handling of the refurbishment, claiming that they “got it wrong.”

Cllr Tate, a member of the audit and governance committee, said: “The report about Chester Bus Exchange in November showed that no one was aware that the so-called refurbishment was taking place apart from the council’s officers. This is simply not good enough.

“Councillors need to know what is going on in their wards. The public need to see what the council’s plans are.

“I asked for all these decisions to be published so that things are much more transparent and so we don’t end up in the situation where no elected representatives had a clue what was planned until three days before work began.”

The motion, which will be put forward by the Labour group this week, will mean all decisions taken by the council’s officers will be published on the CWaC website.

Her Labour colleague on the audit and governance committee, Cllr Tony Sherlock, said: “Time and again councillors and the public find out about things happening in their areas after decisions have been taken.

“Councillors can find it extremely difficult sometimes to find out who is responsible for a particular decision. The public struggle with this too. We are hoping that a simple system of notification on the website so everyone knows that a decision has been made and, most importantly, who has made that decision.

“For too long, this council has had a reputation of being uncommunicative and undemocratic. We hope this motion will go a little way to beginning to restore that reputation.”

The motion reads: “To make council more accountable to local people, this council agrees to publish all recorded decisions including officer decision notices on its website.”

It is proposed by Cllr Tate and seconded by Cllr Sherlock.

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