TORBAY Council’s next full meeting scheduled for Thursday October 17 has been cancelled, the second time in a year. The next meeting will now be in December.
Opposition councillors have criticised the decision and called for an open debate on such issues as how the council will cope with the massive budget cuts it is facing and different ways of working with neighbouring authorities.
The council says the meeting was an extra one on its calendar and there were no decisions to be made.
Labour councillor Darren Cowell said: “We have got a potential crisis in our tourism industry, ongoing issues with low wages, discussing opportunities for economic benefit from the new link road, the emerging housing strategy and lack of social and affordable housing and a £27million black hole in our finances we could be discussing. These are the issues we should be talking about and for the Mayor not to be able to present a decent programme of business suggests he has run out of ideas.”
Lib Dem leader Steve Darling said he believed it had been cancelled because : “Gordon Oliver couldn’t manage his way out of a paper bag. It is outrageous there were items to go on that agenda, because they have ended running away from themselves they have stuck it on the next meeting which will go on until midnight. A number of items should have been on there, the harbour plan, the women’s refuge. Ironically this is during National Democracy Week as well.”
A council spokesman said: “The decision has been taken not to hold a council meeting in October. This was an additional date in the schedule and was no longer required. This does not reflect a lack of activity or council business, it just means there are no full council decisions required at this time.
“Regarding the 2014/15 budget, work has commenced as scheduled and is ongoing. As in previous years, the proposals which are starting to emerge will be consulted upon later this year.”