Local Conservative group leader, Councillor Dave Stewart, has challenged the leader of the Council, Councillor Jonathan Bacon, to explain why he has allowed September’s Full Council meeting to be cancelled when there are so many major issues facing the Council at this time.
Cllr Stewart was made aware by the Chairman of the Council, Cllr Charles Chapman, that the Chief Executive John Metcalfe and Cllr Bacon had put forward no substantive items for the September agenda and following consultation with members, the Chairman had taken the decision to cancel the meeting to save wasting public funds.
Cllr Stewart has said:
“I find it incredible that with a £4.5 million overspend in the current financial year, a major consultation over the Solent Devolution Deal which could see powers transferred to an elected mayor and undermine our relationship with Hampshire (who are supporting our school improvement programme) and with limited time available to discuss our longer term financial crisis, as well as a raft of other council matters which the Island public expect councillors to address, he [Cllr Bacon] informs the Chairman he is not aware of items for the agenda – how can this be the case?”
Cllr Stewart has confirmed he will be inviting the Leader and Chief Executive to consider holding an internal Council meeting on Wednesday 21st September, inviting all members who are available to have the opportunity to meet and discuss these important issues to help inform decisions that will need to be made in the coming weeks and months.
In addition, Cllr Stewart has said he has a growing sympathy with recent comments by Councillor Chris Whitehouse, who has expressed his concerns about the dysfunctionality of the administration and the lack of confidence in its ability to run the Council effectively and act in the best interests of the Island.