Any excuse does as Council refuse access to graft to meeting tapes
By Bill Heaney
This is West Dunbartonshire Council’s idea of open and transparent government.
Last month Provost William Hendrie, who chairs the monthly meetings, told members of the public who turned up to witness what was being done in their name to go home and listen to it on the Podcast.
He forgot to take into account the fact that it would take time for people to get back home to listen to it since not everyone has the latest IT equipment on their person.
Now it seems that the cack-handed Council cannot even get this right. When you are in a meeting, it’s almost impossible to hear what’s going on and you are expected to know who is speaking (mumbling) from looking at the back of their head.
This (see note below left) is what one councillor told a trade union official who inquired about why the podcast of the meeting of 14th May were not available:
TRADE UNION official Sean Davenport said: “If anyone is waiting on the audio minute of last week’s council meeting, held on 14th May, to be made available online, it appears that won’t be happening.
“I contacted my four ward councillors to find out what was happening as the audio recordings are normally made available pretty quick. Below was the response I received from one councillor.
“This was the council meeting called to specifically look at the Audit Scotland review of the investigation into tendering and contracting practices in Roads and Greenspace services.
“Basically those who were unable to attend the meeting will never know the full content of the discussion. Whilst I fully appreciate the council need to operate within the law, as a local resident I find it disappointing that I am being denied the opportunity to listen back to the meeting, particularly given the public gallery was open the entire meeting therefore the information discussed is already in the public domain.”
West Dunbartonshire Council officers and councillors have been anxious to tell the public that they are anxious that they are seen to be open and transparent.
Doing this sort of thing with public information (not to mention not answering questions from a bona fide journalist) could be seen as an attempt to cover up matters which are of legitimate public interest.
West Dunbartonshire Council workers at their joint trade union meeting vote unanimously to fight any and all cuts to Terms and Conditions.