Update on the budget proposal to close public loos - and the public consultation analysis
"With a bound he was free!"
How many other people feel as I do that this 'public consultation by press release' has been confusing for the public- and especially with this issue, which never came to any formal meeting of the council for debate, and did not have an officers report (apart from the equalities form).
This meant that we did not see any breakdown of the costs of running the individual toilet blocks, for example, staff wages, supplies, and insurance costs, which it is essential for local businesses and community groups to know if they are interested in safeguarding them in the future.
The review of public toilets has now had a reprieve until the next round of cuts.
I hope FosAP members will ask for details from the Parks Forum about the proposed reduction in Parks Services, which may also affect the toilet block in the park.
That budget item DID go to a scrutiny meeting, and has a one -line summary in the Budget analysis, that the councillors could not make a response without seeing the contract! Er - yes! And this applies to the public, who are also interested in this issue.
I am also concerned that the public could not scrutinise the consultation while it progressed - which they CAN do with the hundreds of planning applications which the council receives every year, and publishes on its website.
I really don't understand why the Budget consultation has had a lower level of public scrutiny than ordinary planning applications.
We had to rely on conflicting press reports and then finally see an analysis of the consultation near the end of the process.
If you feel that the consultation process has been lacking openness, then do put in your views to democratic services at the council - and if it has affected your own ability to track an issue you have been interested in, go through the councils complaints procedure.
We can't be complacent about any of the budget items that have been put off until next year - keep an eye on the 'Mayors Forward Plan' which is a (constantly changing) calendar of items for Mayoral decisions and the meetings they will be discussed and decided at.
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