Important health debate cancelled because not enough councillors turned up

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

Peterborough City Council news from the Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

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An important scrutiny meeting on health issues at Peterborough City Council had to be cancelled because not enough councillors were at the meeting.

The meeting at the Town Hall tonight (Tuesday, March 10) was to scrutinise the performances of the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) and the council’s adult social care department.

In 20 years as a councillor I have never seen a meeting cancelled because there were not enough members present.

Councillor Keith Sharp

Council leader Councillor Marco Cereste was expecting to deliver a report at the meeting but was confronted with a near empty room.

The only councillors to show up at the Scrutiny Commission for Health Issues were the group’s chair, Cllr Brian Rush, and Cllr Keith Sharp.

The other councillors who were listed as attendees were Cllr June Stokes, Cllr Sue Allen, Cllr Richard Ferris, Cllr Nabil Shabbir and Cllr Asif Shaheed.

It is unknown why the councillors did not attend although it is understood apologies were sent by some or all of the missing councillors.

Often, councillors who cannot make a meeting will arrange for a substitute to fill in for them.

Cllr Sharp said: “In 20 years as a councillor I have never seen a meeting cancelled because there were not enough members present.

“Both Cllr Rush and myself were embarrassed because we had senior members of the health services and adult social care team present.”

Councillors receive an allowance of just under £8,000.

It was announced in January

that Peterborough is to get three more councillors next year, taking the overall number up to 60.

The no show from councillors comes only a month after there was controversy when a meeting spent just 37 minutes scrutinising the council’s budget, despite three hours being timetabled in for debate.

The budget details, which passed at the start of March, saw over £8 million of savings and cuts agreed.

Overall, the council had to wipe out a £25 million deficit, of which more than £16 million of savings of that were agreed in December 2014.