Well, today's Emergency Full Council Meeting has just ended - a full 10-minutes after it started. What's just happened is frankly a democratic disgrace ... I'll say more about that in the next entry in a few minutes.
First though, just to be clear, the Liberals and Nationalists have just ACCEPTED a Labour/Green motion to cancel the school closure programme. Here's the wording:
1. We hereby call for a Special Meeting of the City of Edinburgh Council.
2. There has clearly been a ‘material change’ to the very recent decision of Council, of 23rd August 2007, concerning the Children and Families Estate review.
3. Given the next full meeting of Council is not until 20th September 2007, it is essential that Council meets as soon as possible to bring absolute clarity to the current situation for children, parents, staff and local communities across Edinburgh.
4. And Council thus agrees to abandon the current programme.
This was on the 'order paper', submitted by me with Cllr. Alison Johnstone (Green) as the seconder.
So, the Opposition have forced the Administration to agree to cancel the programme of school closures. They didn't move anything as an alternative, simply accepted our motion.
We tabled an addendum - worded thus:
5. Council further agrees that the principles outlined below (taken from the “Coalition Agreement” of the Partnership Administration) have been broken. The Agreement states that:
- “the Partnership is founded on the democratic principles of trust, equity, openness and fairness”
- and will “guarantee stable and viable management of the Council”
The recent breakdown of this Agreement has shown that the current Coalition has not provided the required leadership for the City of Edinburgh Council to take forward the Children and Families Estate Review.
6. Council thus requests that the 5 Party Group Leaders should meet urgently to clarify the status of the Partnership Administration and how Council business, such as the Children and Families Estate Review, can be best managed to the long-term benefit of the City of Edinburgh.
The Lord Provost chose to rule this as 'incompetent' - very convenient ... it stopped any debate as they simply accepted the Labour/Green motion.
Anyway, more on that in the next post ...