Mystery Over Secret Council Budget Debate

Council chamber at the Old Wesleyan Chapel

There is mystery surrounding the reasons why the Council discussed an item on its budget position in a secret session.

At last Thursday’s finance committee, the Policy and Resources meeting, the public were excluded from the meeting before the debate.

Cllr Dudley Mumford questioned that decision and Cllr Richard McCarthy warned that the Council should be mindful of laws outlining what should be discussed in private. He didn’t want discussions held in private session, “just because it was more convenient.”

Director of finance and resources Peter Lawrence-Roberts told Radio Scilly that the item was moved into private session because of the contents of the report and “concern for staff” to whom there was no opportunity to talk before the meeting.

Council vice chairman Amanda Martin confirmed to us that Peter and other Council officers had recommended that the item was moved into private session. Both Amanda and Peter say they intend to include it in public session in the Full Council on March 7th.

The meeting heard that the Council is setting aside “significant” funds for an employment issue this year and next and for legal costs.

Cllr Fred Ticehurst wanted to know what that was about. He claimed he didn’t know about this and requested more information. But Peter and Amanda told Fred it was a matter he knew about but they could say no more in the public part of the meeting.

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