A meeting tonight to discuss an economic strategy for York will not involve the Chair of the city’s scrutiny committee responsible for economic matters, after he was told he couldn’t speak.
Cllr Kallum Taylor hoped to address the council’s Executive to ask why their strategy does not address tackling poverty in York, as well as why their proposed ten-year plan had not been sent to his committee for cross-party and public discussion. But the council leader has blocked his participation.
Cllr Taylor said:
“This is not the first time our Council’s ruling Lib-Dem Councillors have gone out of their way to avoid the involvement of Scrutiny. This is a missed opportunity to help foster the long-term buy-in and consensus that something as vital as a ten-year Economic Strategy should have.
“Councillors of all parties and none should be given the opportunity to question council officers and ruling councillors but haven’t been allowed to. It is an immature and insecure way of working that is absolutely not in the interests of our city’s residents.
“How is the strategy going to help increase wages? How are those struggling going to be included in the economy through training and better job opportunities? Rather than answer those questions and build stronger plans, the Lib-Dems want the rest of York to keep quiet and just take their word for it.”
The Economic Strategy is one of three major strategies set to be approved or considered by Executive. Two of these have gone through committees with Lib-Dem Chairs but the two with Labour Chairs have been left out of the process entirely.
Cllr Taylor registered to speak one hour before the publicly advertised deadline last Friday but was then told by Democratic Services that the Lib-Dem Council Leader had already instructed them to close the list ahead of time.