Council Meetings a disgrace!

October 16, 2006 12:00 AM
Councillors Wera and William threatened to get on their bikes during the meeting!

Councillors Wera and William threatened to get on their bikes during the meeting!

Councillor Alan Taylor said, "It is quite obvious that we need to look at how meetings are conducted. There was a very simple reason why the Council Meeting overran - There were 6 Notice of Motions and the amendments that came with them. The Liberal Democrats have long understood the importance of Notices of Motion to shape Council Policy and the difference with this meeting was that for a change - Labour and the Conservatives put three in too. Councillor Rush's motion was excellent and will contribute significantly to the fight against the anti-social use of off-road bikes. The personal attacks from all sides of this chamber must stop though - we need to concentrate on Council Policy.

I am afraid this meeting was not a good advertisement for politics in the Borough. The Liberal Democrat Group will not apologise though to anyone about asking questions, dialogue in the Council is vital and some of the issues discussed were hugely important to this Borough. These included the Libraries, the anti-social use of fireworks, flooding in Heywood, the budget and many more. Liberal Democrat Councillors like Councillor Rush have every right to question the Cabinet in a Public Meeting. One minute the opposition accuse us of carrying out or job in secret and then question why we are asking questions in public. They are not consistent in their approach and they need to look at themselves. Yes, Councillors approach me about issues and quite rightly - it is one thing answering questions in my office and another answering questions in a Public Meeting. I thank the Liberal Democrat Councillors for taking an active role in Council Meetings and hope this continues."

Councillor Peter Rush said, "The meeting was increasingly personal and this needs addressing as soon as possible. The meeting started well and I was delighted to keep my promise to the people of Heywood and firm up the Council's opposition to the nuisance of off road bikes. I felt annoyed that we didn't even reach the Heywood Township Questions and look forward to full and frank answers. I do however find the comments of Councillor Lambert a little hypocritical. In one breath he questions why the Liberal Democrats ask Cabinet Members questions then we see that Labour Members of Heywood Township have put 6 questions down for Councillor Lambert.

It is important to ask questions in a Public Forum - Apart from the Motion on Off-Road Bikes I put down a number of questions specific to Heywood. These included flooding in Heywood, on street drinking in Heywood, the disgraceful increase that Roach Dynamos face for using the artificial pitch at our Sport's Centre, recycling figures, choice based lettings, the failure of the Labour Party to honour a £7,000 commitment to improve the area at Pot Hall Bridge, the campaign for longer opening hours at our police station and many more. This is in direct contrast to last year when Heywood was lucky to even merit a mention at the Council Meeting."

Councillor David Clayton said, "This Council Meeting illustrated the long standing problems with such occasions. They have just become a free for all, an example was Councillor Lambert trying to deliberately mislead the Council about a planned closure of a school in Middleton. He was misquoting a Liberal Democrat Leaflet from Middleton, he refused to say exactly what I'd said in the leaflet. Instead he tried to put his own spin on it - I simply asked that he to give me the leaflet so I could get to the bottom of it. He was caught out and I will not tolerate that - the people of Heywood have every right to ask Councillor Lambert why he was ranting about Middleton and not Heywood. Maybe, he was following future Parliamentary ambitions!"