A Council Leader’s influence on scrutiny.

The other week I asked Calderdale’s leader what he thought about ensuring whoever proposes and seconds motions on scrutiny panels is properly minuted. Part of Cllr Swift’s response was to say “I’ve never been in favor of Cabinet saying how scrutiny is run.”

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Yet only four days later on the 26th June a local news website carried a story ‘Council Leader asks scrutiny panel to support his calls for Government action on flooding’. Yes, it appears the same man who says that executive cabinet members should not be telling scrutiny panels how they can be run is now doing just that.

Cllr Swift is keen to find failings in the government over the floods. He has made his case previously in the press regarding this matter. Although I agree with some of the points he raises such as the urgent need to sort out flood insurance issue (which the government is working on) I don’t think it is right for the leader to call on scrutiny to support his political calls for action. It is my view as the Deputy Chair of the Economy and Environment scrutiny panel that the focus of these meetings should be on scrutinizing local issues and decisions within the control of Calderdale Council. On this issue of floods ┬áit is largely agreed that the Council’s initial response to the flooding was very good, although a year on there are some lessons to be learnt.

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