At Amber Valley Borough Council’s AGM in June the dates for six Cabinet meetings were approved. The Cabinet meetings are always preceded by a ‘Have Your Say’ session when members of the public can ask question of and, speak directly to, cabinet members.
The Leader of the Socialist administration at Amber Valley Borough Council, Cllr Paul Jones, cancelled the first cabinet meeting, together with its ‘Have Your Say’ session, due to have been held on 2 July. The one on 3 September was held. The next cabinet meeting was scheduled to be held on 15 October. At Wednesday’s Full Council meeting it was announced that this would also be cancelled so that a special Council meeting could be held. Cllr Jones, on being questioned by Cllr Alan Cox, Deputy Leader of the Conservative Group, refused to give a date for a replacement cabinet meeting to take place. Cllr Cox reminded him that he had cancelled two cabinet meetings and ‘Have Your Say’ sessions out of three agreed by Full Council.
After the meeting Cllr Bradford, Leader of the Conservative Group said “The ‘Have Your Say’ sessions are a very useful mechanism for residents to both speak to and question the cabinet members. It is also very useful for cabinet members to find out the views of residents. However, it appears that the current Socialist administration does not want to hear what the public have to say; why else would they restrict the number of members of the public who can attend Council meetings and cancel Cabinet meetings and ‘Have Your Say’ sessions. For perspective, my cabinet and I rigorously adhered to the scheduled meetings and local venues for many years. I can promise that when the Conservatives regain control of the Council they will listen to what the public have to say.”