There is a meeting of the Princes Parade Working Group (ie a sub set of the Shepway District Council Cabinet) next week. The council say that the public cannot attend the meeting. However, it’s good to see that all our arguments for transparency have had some effect as the meeting is shown on the calendar on Shepway’s website and the minutes of the previous meeting have been published albeit not very useful ones.http://www.shepway.gov.uk/moderngov/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=455&MId=4355
We did challenge the exclusion of the public and this is the answer we received from the council “Princess Parade Working group is an internal working group and is not a committee of the Council. It is important to note that the working group does not have decision making powers. The rules do not allow members of the public to attend the meeting.The minutes of the meeting will be published on Modgov as soon as possible.” We have challenged this response because the document setting out the rules for working groups does not specifically exclude the public and also we disagree that the working group does not have decision making powers. If it doesn’t, what is the point of it? It cannot be just to brief cabinet members since not all cabinet members belong to the group and the working group must surely be giving some sort of feedback/steer to the officers which will influence the fate of PP.