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At the 21 September Special Meeting of Borough Council called by the Conservative Group to discuss a number of important matters, the Labour Group used its majority
to move the adjournment of the meeting indefinitely. The Conservatives called this meeting because of their concerns about the importance of the items and the fact that the Labour Group has radically reduced the schedule of Borough Council Meetings.

Councillor Mark Bowen, Leader of the Conservative Group, said:

“This was the ultimate example of how Labour in this Borough hate to answer questions and be accountable for their decisions and actions. They complained that the meeting cost money but everyone was present and they disgracefully moved to adjourn indefinitely. The only ones responsible for
wasting money were they. The reason they did not want the meeting to go ahead was that they did not want any of the items in the agenda discussed, least of all their recent crazy decision regarding the Conference Centre. Their actions last night were more worthy of a Banana Republic than of a London Borough.”

Councillor Ruth Cadbury, Deputy Leader of the Council said:

“In calling the Special Council meeting on 21st September, the Conservative Group have
not only wasted the time of busy Councillors, but also approximately £4,000 of Council
Tax Payers money. This is an extremely irresponsible action when they are very well
aware of the critical financial position the Council may be in later in the Autumn.

Far from “drastically reducing” the number of Borough Council meetings, we have
actually reduced the number from eight to six. Cllr. Bowen seems to forget that several
Borough Council meetings were cancelled during the time the Conservatives were in
power., and in fact, we probably have the same amount of Council meetings

Cllr. Bowen knows full well that the meeting was unnecessary. One item should have
been referred to the Overview and Scrutiny Committee rather than Borough Council,
and the remaining items, although important, were not of an urgent nature, and could
have been submitted to the scheduled meeting of Borough Council on 12th October. Cllr.
Bowen also knows he has the right to refer any matter to Scrutiny, and this demonstrates
a lack of understanding on how the scrutiny process works in holding the Executive to

September 29, 2010