Thursday, 13 November 2008

On The Hoof.

Another example of how some of our new Councillors are struggling to meet the rigours of elected office.

It is bad enough when an elected Councillor departs from a submission to the Scottish Parliament when giving evidence to ... er ... the Scottish Parliament, but then to not know who submitted the Council's views in the first place and then admit it wasn't approved by Councillors anyway. Is it any wonder that Aberdeen City Council is in such a financial mess?

"An Aberdeen City councillor was accused of “making policy on the hoof” and letting the authority down when she appeared before an influential Holyrood committee yesterday. MSPs were mystified when evidence from Aberdeen education spokeswoman Kirsty West contradicted the authority’s written submission. Miss West, one of Scotland’s youngest councillors, appeared before the education, lifelong learning and culture committee to give evidence on the authority’s position on the introduction of free school meals for primary 1-3 children. The council’s written submission stated that based on the evaluation of the pilot scheme of the free school meals trial in five areas, it remained “unconvinced” that free lunches “adds public value or improves the outcomes for children”. But Miss West told the committee that the council would implement the concordat agreement between the Scottish Government and local authorities for free school meals from 2010 ... On several occasions she had to “clarify” what was in the submission before admitting it was written by council officials and not approved by elected members ... Committee convener Labour MSP Karen Whitefield said in her nine years as an MSP she had never known a witness to contradict a supporting written submission."

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