I'm going to do something slightly unusual here and paste below the anonymised (from/to) text of an e-mail that I've just received a copy of. I understand that the same text has now gone to several recipients across the city.
I should make it absolutely clear that I think the 'sender/s' of this message are entirely innocent actors and are only following instruction - as should be obvious from the text.
This is basically what Deputation requests are being told, as at 5pm yesterday. I really do think this is completely outrageous and anti-democratic ... how can one Councillor decide all of this without any reference to the Full Council, which doesn't meet to discuss the subject until tomorrow?
In essence, one Councillor has decided that NO deputations will be heard at tomorrow's Council meeting on the biggest school closure programme this city has ever seen proposed??
Subject: RE: deputation
Date: Tue, 21 Aug 2007 16:56:02 +0100
I refer to your request for a deputation to the Council meeting on 23 August 2007. As you are aware, the report on the Children and Families Estate Review contains proposals for hearing deputations on this matter. The report proposes that each community be invited to bring a deputation to a meeting of the Education, Children and Families Committee on a phased basis (the proposed consultation timescales are attached as Appendix 2 to the Director's report) and that deputations are not heard by the Council and the Education, Children and Families Committee at other stages of the process. This advice has been given to each organisation requesting a deputation on this issue and a number of those organisations have withdrawn their requests in the spirit of the proposed consultation process.
You have indicated that you would still like to go ahead with your request to be heard at the Council meeting. I have therefore spoken to Councillor Mrs MacLaren, the Executive Member for Education, Children and Families, and advised her that some organisations and individuals have withdrawn their requests but that others still wish to go ahead. She has taken this into account and does not think it would be fair to hear any deputations at the Council meeting. However, she has agreed that deputations wishing to speak on the general principles of the Review, without mentioning specific schools, can be heard at the first meeting of the new Education, Children and Families Committee on 28 August 2007.
Please confirm whether you wish to accept this offer.