As I was interested in the discussion about Burnby Hall I decided to watch yesterdays ERYC cabinet meeting. What an eye opener.

It was clear that several councillors had not read or understood their briefing documents and were asking questions about matters which were fully explained in their briefing packs.

The most embarrassing part of the meeting was a discussion about the pedestrianisation of a part of Saturday Market in Beverley.

For the past 18 months a trial has been in place which has involved the installation of seating and planters in an area bordered by the Brown’s department store and café Nero. Plans have appeared on the ERYC website and there have been several articles and photographs published by the Hull Daily Mail.

Members of the cabinet were told yesterday that a survey had concluded that both businesses and residents were in favour of the scheme becoming permanent.

During a 33-minute presentation and discussion it was obvious that some councillors thought the whole of Saturday Market was being pedestrianised which was not the case. A couple of councillors accused officers of providing a poor brief despite the fact that the plan and a whole raft of reports were circulated to all cabinet members before the meeting. If I can see them so can they. If they could be bothered.

Cllr Nigel Wilkinson, a conservative, member for Goole displayed a breathtaking level of ignorance about the plan and at one point asked a council officer to come across and show which area they were talking about. He admitted that he had not realised how many parking spaces were being affected. (This information was included in his briefing pack).

Eventually the acting Chief Executive Alan Menzies reminded everyone that a raft of documents were available and were linked from the report under discussion. He said Cllrs were making a meal of this and that he would be happy to take Cllrs on a five minute walk to the area under discussion.

The only decision made about the pedestrianisation was to have another meeting as soon as possible about a trial which had been in place for 18 months.

In my opinion the quality of debate was poor and many councillors seemed badly prepared. I despair that key decisions about issues which affect us all are in the hands of a group of people, some of whom are so ill equipped to do their job. It was a shambles.

NB: The cabinet consists of 8 Conservatives and one Independant.

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