A Cork County Councillor has called it a “disgrace” that one of her motions, which was passed by 53 of the councillors, was quashed at a Corporate Policy Group meeting she was not allowed to attend.
Social Democrat Holly Cairns told The Echo today she received the minutes of the Corporate Policy Group meeting where her successful motion was forwarded for discussion.
In the minutes, she discovered the motion, that would see councillors receive the council agenda and documents relevant to Council meetings three days prior to the scheduled event, was dismissed.
The motion was suggested in order to give councillors enough time to read through the paperwork that they would be discussing in the meeting.
At the Corporate Policy Group meeting, the minutes showed that County Council Chief Executive Tim Lucey outlined the importance of having the opportunity to review the reports prior to going out to members and the group agreed “the current arrangements” were “satisfactory”.
At present, the councillors receive the responses to notices of motion two hours before the meeting commences.
Ms Cairns said that it was a basic requirement for the councillors to have enough time to look over all documents in order for them to be able to adequately carry out their duties and make informed decisions.
“It is just a blatant block of democracy,” Ms Cairns said, “What is the point of putting forward a motion, getting almost unanimous support in the chamber and then they decide not to bother? It’s disgraceful.” “I am held accountable for the decisions I make. To me, that is the fundamental aspect of my role as a councillor.
“And I am not able to do it, and after trying to do it in the correct way, I actually think it should be a matter of public enquiry that councillors have to be able to make informed decisions.
“Why is this seen as okay and normal? I just can’t actually understand it.
“I don’t understand why the council don’t want to give us relevant documentation in time to for us to read and make informed decisions, that is confusing to me.
“I am almost at this stage wondering what are they trying to hide, why don’t they want us to make informed decisions and what is the purpose of our role if we can’t do that?”