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Motion for Full Council 21st September 2011

Motion for Full Council 21st September 2011

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09/22/2011

 
1
MotionforFullCouncil21
st
September2011
“ThisCouncilagreesthatallbudgetproposalspresentedtoFullCouncilintheBudgetdebateonthe23
rd
February2011werelegalandbalanced”
OpeningSpeech(CW):Onthe20
th
July,hereatthelastFullCouncilmeeting,CllrPughlaunchedahighlypoliticalattackontheeffortsofIndependentgroupmemberstoproducealternativebudgetproposalsearlierthisyear.HetoldthischamberthatoncloserinspectionoftheIndependentBudgettherewere,andIquote:“somemajorflawsintheirproposals”andthatit“wouldhavebeenextremelydangerousandirresponsibletohaveadoptedtheirapproach”.IhavebroughtforwardthismotiontochallengesuchovertlypoliticalbehaviourandtocorrecttheimpressionleftbyCllrPugh’stirade,thatthealternativebudgetswouldnothavebeenworkablealternativestohisown,nowfailingmodel.Fromwhatwecandeduce,CllrPughbaseshisallegationonthreefactorsnoneofwhich,inouropinion,areeitherfairortrue:FirstlyheclaimsthatthefinalversionoftheIndependentBudgetwassubmittedonlyatthemeetingonthe23
rd
ofFebruary,andIquote:“thatlatesubmissionofthefinalversionoftheproposalsgavemembersverylittletimetoassesstheirvalidityandrobustness”.Secondly,heclaimedthattherewasanerrorintheamountthatwesaidwewouldreturntothereserves.Lastly,andmostworryinglyinourview,asitaffectsourrelationswithofficersandstaff,CllrPughstatedthatourstaffrestructuringproposalswereextremelydangerousandirresponsible.Howso?
 
2
Firstly,letusbeveryclear.Thefinalversionofourbudgetproposal,aspresentedtomembers,wasseenbytheSection151Officer,DaveBurbageandhewas,andremains,satisfiedthatourproposalswerelawfulandbalanced.Thelatealteration,allocatedtheavailablecashfromthePanMeadowsdevelopmentallowingustorecommendadditionalfundingforcommunitybusesandanadditional£341kforthereserves.WhatCllrPughhaslatchedonto,isthatonthefrontcoverofourpresentationtomembers,therewasatypographicalerror.Afigureoffivehundredthousandwasshown,insteadofthecorrectamountofthreehundredandfortyonethousand.Thiswasnotreplicatedinthebodyofthereportorourcalculations.ThefiguresshownatIND33werecorrect.Atthispoint,membersmightbeinterestedtohavetheirmemoriesrefreshedastothecontentsofIND33,somethingthatCllrPughmightprefernottoaccuratelyrecall:IND33stated:“TheIsleofWightCouncilhavelegalresponsibilitiesthatappearnottobebudgetedfor,suchasseaweedclearanceandissuesrelatingtotheabortedRydeInterchangeproject.Currentlythesecostsaremetfromreserves.Weproposeaprovisionforthemherethatcanbeheldonreservetoaddresstheseissuesastheyarise.”CllrPughwouldnowlikeelectedmembersandmoreimportantly,membersofthepublic,toviewthisprovisionasextremelydangerousandirresponsible.Andwhatabouthisallegationthatwepresentedourproposalssolatethatnoonehadtimetogivethemcarefulconsideration?Well,let’sbeabsolutelyclearaboutwhatheissuggestinghere.WhatheissayingisthathadmembershadachancetocarefullyreviewthefinalversionoftheIndependentBudgetproposalsbeforehand,thentheywouldhavebeenabletoseeforthemselveswhatadangerousbudgetwehadcreated!
 
3
HangontothatthoughtwhilstyouconsiderthenextpartofCllrPugh’scunningplantodivertattentionawayfromhisownmonumentalbudgetcatastrophe.Firstly,thelatesubmissionofthefinalversionoftheIndependentBudgetwasentirelyduetoCllrPugh’sowntardinessinfailingtoprovidedetailsofthePanMeadowsNewHomesBonus,totheoppositiongroupsinatimelymanner.TheNewHomesBonuswasformallyannouncedbytheDCLGonThursdaythe17
th
February.ThefigureavailablefortheIsleofWight,wasknownhereontheFriday.TheleaderonlynotifiedtheothergroupslateontheMonday,threedaysaftertheinformationwasgiventohim,leavingverylittletimefortheothergroupstofactorthisintotheirbudgetproposals.Heontheotherhandhadthewholeweekendtodedicatetothattask.Atthetime,weregardedtheshortnoticeasaminorirritationwhencomparedtotheelationathavingadditionalfundstoallocatetoanextremelydifficultbudgetpackage.NoonecouldhaveimaginedthemischiefthatCllrPughwouldlatermakeofthis,foroneverysignificantreason.DuringtheweeksprecedingtheBudgetmeeting,CllrPughhaddevotedagreatdealoftimeandenergytodemandingdetailsofourproposalsfromwhichhewasabletoproducea15pagedossierdelvingintoeveryaspectofouralternativebudget.CllrPughwasinfullpossessionofthefactswellbeforethedayoftheBudgetmeeting.Whetherhesharedthisinformationwithmembersofhisgroupwedonotknow.ForCllrPughtoclaimthatthelatesubmissionofthefinalversionofourproposals“gavemembersverylittletimetoassesstheirvalidityandrobustness”andthatanerrorintheamountthatwesaidwouldbereturnedtothereservescausedourbudgettobeextremelydangerousandirresponsibleisrisibleespeciallywhenoneconsiderstheamountofinformationregardingourproposalshehadathisdisposalintheweeksleadinguptothebudget.InmakingthispublicallegationhehasgrotesquelymisledthepublicandmembersoftheIsleofWightCouncilandgrosslymisrepresentedourposition.

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