Letter: Council budget address - battling to get wording of speech

The leader of the East Riding Council, Cllr Stephen Parnaby, delivered the Conservative Budget speech to full council on 9 February.

Thursday, 23rd February 2017, 9:42 am
Updated Wednesday, 1st March 2017, 8:35 am
Once councillor battled to obtain wording given at the council budget speech.

In the preamble, he mentioned a few points, giving a bit of background information to the decisions required to set the precept for 2017/18.

I have a hearing impairment and I missed a couple of points, for which I decided to seek clarification after the meeting. Two or three days later I asked the leader’s PA for the information I had missed.

It was not controversial and was obviously not confidential as it had been made in full council.

I did not request any explanation for what was said in council, solely the exact words he had used and I had missed.

It was refused with no explanation nor reason.

I therefore requested that he supplied me the wording under the Freedom of Information Act.

He refused to tell me and said he would not, as he described it as a personal statement from an individual councillor.

This is nonsense.

I should have been given the information without any issue being created, and secondly there is no way a leader’s budget speech can be described as a personal speech.

A personal speech, as in the case of Parliament, is when a member wishes to correct or clarify or apologise for something he or she may have said or done and wishes to make amends before the full house. I cannot understand what the leader’s problem is in supplying me with the information. I have been a councillor for nearly two years, and he has never once made any attempt to personally welcome me aboard the council.

Cllr David Robson

Bridlington South

*East Riding Council told the Free Press: “Cllr Parnaby responded to Cllr Robson on Tuesday 21 February to repeat the information he previously gave to all councillors on 9 February in the Council Chamber which is fitted with a hearing loop system for the benefit of any councillors who are hard of hearing.”