Climate & Ecological Emergency motion was not referred to committee or priced,
How much has it cost? Well the honest answer is nobody knows, as it was never priced. Nor did the Council’s Overview & Scrutiny Committee discuss the best way forward for the Climate & Ecological Emergency motion (as amended), as it had to under its constitution; which is its legal framework.
On Wednesday 24 July, 2019, shortly after 7pm, Cllr Georgina Treloar (Green) (circled) stood up in the Council Chamber and began uttering the words which led to Folkestone & Hythe District Council, declaring a Climate & Ecological Emergency.
The first point in Cllr Treloar’s motion (pages 6 & 7) was amended to read:
“That Full Council recognises that we are in a climate emergency, and that the issue be referred to Overview and Scrutiny Committee to get the best way forward, and price it”.
This amendment was passed 16 for, 14 against. Then this revised motion, with the above inserted, was put to the vote and the result was 30 for, 0 against.
The next Overview and Scrutiny Committee (OSC) was held on 10th September, 2019. It was chaired by Cllr Rebecca Shoob (Green) (pictured), and the climate change motion was not discussed or priced, at this meeting. After this, the next OSC, again chaired by Cllr Rebecca Shoob (Green), was on the 15 Oct 2019, and again the climate motion was not discussed or priced.
Three days later, on the 18 Oct 2019, the first Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group began discussing the Climate motion behind closed doors unpriced and without residents knowing the best way forward. It’s clear that prior to setting up the working group, the climate motion was never discussed, or priced by the OSC.
Before moving on, one must realise that Part 7 of the Council’s constitution sets out what the Overview and Scrutiny Rules and Procedures are. The rules and procedures state at 13.2, the OSC can set up ad hoc working groups, and appoint advisers and assessors to assist them in these processes. There is NO publicly available evidence the climate motion was spoken about or priced in any of the minutes of the OSC, between July & Oct 2019, or thereafter, according to the agendas and minutes on the Council’s website.
The working group met behind closed. It met behind closed doors to discuss things like flooding, led lighting, greenhouse gas emissions and other stuff, none of which is, or was commercially confidential. But the working group chaired by former Cllr Lesley Whybrow (pictured) went ahead and discussed these matters behind closed doors.
Now as you may or may not know, the Shepway Green Party promised more democracy and transparency in their 2019 manifesto. However, the Chair of the OSC, Cllr Rebecca Shoob (Green), did not discuss the motion with OSC or price it, before setting up a working group. And the working group chaired by former Cllr & Cabinet member,Lesley Whybrow, hid behind closed doors (hardly transparent) and cost the Council an unknown sum of money, as the work was never priced.
This was not democratic as the process and procedure was not followed. Nor was it transparent as the information discussed behind closed doors, was not commercially confidential.
And just to evidence it was not commercially confidential, you can download and read the information which went before the Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group below. This is because we at The Shepway Vox Team appreciate process, procedure, democracy and transparency.
Climate & Ecological Emergency Working Group Part 1
Climate & Ecological Emergency Working Group Part 2
Climate & Ecological Emergency Working Group Part 3
So, the OSC chaired and led by a Green, and a working group chaired and led by a former Green Cllr & Cabinet member went ahead. The working group spent money without informing the public how much their investigation, and ad hoc working group, would cost the residents of the district.
We have spoken about Tories being profligate with the public pound, but the evidence in the public domain shows the OSC chaired by a Green Cllr, neither discussed or priced how much the Climate and Ecological Emergency motion would cost. This was a clear breach of the Council’s constitution, its legal framework, and under no circumstances could that be value for money, democratic or transparent.
Finally, it is officers and especially the monitoring officer – Amandeep Khroud (pictured) who should have advised Cllrs on the proper procedure, and ensured they followed the correct processes after the full council decision. That said, Cllrs themselves cannot escape some responsibility in this fiasco of process and procedure, as they were present and knew what was to happen. Plus they can read the constitution just like anyone else. It’s clear they didn’t. It’s clear then officers and Cllrs are culpable for this unpriced fiasco.
But as always you can make your own mind up on that.
The Shepway Vox Team
The Velvet Voices of Voxatiousness
Surely it is up to officers to advise on procedures and to ensure that the correct processes are followed subsequent to Council/Committee decisions by Councillors?
If for one moment the Greens, Labour, Lib Dems believe they are going to change the operational culture of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, they are living in cloud cuckoo land. This is the side they cannot effect. We the staff will continue to live under the leadership of people who haven’t a clue. The senior management would throw anyone of us under the bus, to save their own skins and pensions, as we’ve all witnessed within the last year.
The best decision the Cllrs could make is, remove Priest & Khroud as suggested by your public face during the election campaign. I honestly do not think our freshly elected Cllrs will be courageous enough to take this step. I would love them to prove me wrong, but I’ll not be holding my breath.
Well Chat GTP that is quite revealing. What is it about their leadership which is so bad?
Well Terry, start with the cliques, or rather the “cults” within the Council. This is what I personally call them – “cults”.
The people who have joined these “cults” have voluntarily surrendered to the higher authority of their particular “cult” leader. Joining one of the “cults” within the Council requires an element of voluntary self-surrender. The very relinquishment of control is a significant part of the appeal. They themselves actively sought to be controlled, for reasons known only to them. It’s like they’ve deposited all their precious personal holdings of self-hood in the spiritual bank of their cult’s leader. They’ve submitted themselves to what they believe is a higher authority to someone else’s account of reality.
They do not and will not challenge their cult leaders account/view of reality, and this has ended up costing ratepayers millions of pounds in contract and financial irregularities. These have been written about frequently by the Shepway Vox Team.
Until one dispenses of Priest, Khroud & Blaszkowicz, these “cults” will continue, as will the failure to challenge their accounts of reality. And those who follow this delusion, will remain intent on maintaining the lie, that all the “cult” leaders do is perfect, when all the evidence shows it is far from it. Just ask the officers who’ve been thrown under the bus by these “cult” leaders, when the responsibility for the failures belonged with them. Alas no “cult” member could see that.
If Cllrs want the Council to improve, the first thing they should do is follow the advice of the public face of the Shepway Vox Team. This is dismiss Priest, Khroud & Blaszkowicz . Then, and only then, would the control of these “cult” leaders be broken. Officers under their spell will awaken, and we’ll save tens of millions of pounds.
Much of what you say is spot on – as a long suffering FHDC employee, I have seen only too clearly the ‘cult’ of Blaszkowicz and his brainless followers – some of whom were given jobs created especially for them, with no apparent requirement for a pesky recruitment process where these opportunities are actually advertised, as per Council rules. These followers are blatantly breaking rules, awarding lucrative contracts to their mates and doing very little for their £40k+ salaries.
There’s a similar word to ‘cult’ that applies to Blaszkowicz.
Yes I recall a cult member belonging to Dr Priest’s group. A job spec was specifically written for a former Head of Communities; which meant only they could get the job as Assistant Director Strategy, Performance and Communications. They are now Deputy Chief Executive for Sevenoaks District Council. It was they who brought in iGnite to do the transformation project. The company’s claims were demonstrably false and unachieved.
One notes the company was slapped on the wrist by the Advertising Standards Authority. This was remarked upon by The Somerset County Gazzette, with one Cllr stating “Clearly the so-called transformation programme had not worked”
The passing of this vacuous and virtual-signalling motion does not auger well for the Districts’ future. We need mature Councillors to work on the many pressing problems some of which are rehearsed above. We do not need school children playing like a 6th form debating society.
As for Councillor Treloar, here involvement and arrest with the ecology protesters ought to lead to her suspension from the Council. Simply put: she is an embarrassment to Folkestone and Hythe.
Once they have secured the cancellation of Princes Parade the Greens will show minimal interest in the rest of the district. Shepway Greens effectively started as a Hythe preservation society and will continue to place their interests above all others. Would not be surprised to see them slip comfortably into the same self interest policies as Monk’s mob – as long as they don’t threaten Hythe.