(Un)answered Qs from Dec 2014 Council Meeting

You may have read about this in the Herald: Tight Lipped Vale Tories. (I think it was also in the Oxford Mail.)

At the Vale full council meeting on 10th Dec 2014, the Tories refused to answer questions in the meeting, in order to get away early for Christmas tipples and nibbles. Instead of answering in public, despite some Vale residents attending specifially to hear the answers, they said they’d respond in writing.

On Dec 24, we had those answers. Here’s the complete list of Questions and Answers in a pdf: Answers to Qs from Dec 2014 meeting

Questions for each full council meeting have to be submitted many days in advance of the agenda being published, and the agenda is published 7 days before the meeting. There’s plently of time for Cabinet members (etc) to prepare answers. Our constitution doesn’t require public, verbal answers to properly submitted questions, but by refusing to provide them, Tories have shown their true colours on how much they value communication.

One of the roles of an effective opposition is to question the ruling party; it is one way to help prevent corrruption and bad decision-making. Where there is in effect no opposition, there is no democracy in action. By shutting down the public questions, Tories remove one of the valuable safeguiards in local government.

What’s next?

Since there was no chance to ask the usual supplementary questions at Council, the Lib Dem councilllors are working on their supplementary questions. Watch this space.