Mudcat Café message #1341050 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #70681   Message #1341050
Posted By: The Shambles
28-Nov-04 - 07:40 AM
Thread Name: A little more news on Licensing
Subject: RE: A little more news on Licensing
Oh The Games People Play Now

This is a copy of an exchange in advance of the meeting. Sent: 12 November 2004 15:56 To: Sue King
Subject: Consultation Meeting

Dear Sue [King]
Thank you for Sue Moore's letter dated 9 November 2004. Could you establish the following for me in her absence from her office?
[1] You state that my comments, together with your appraisal of them, will be put before the Committee. Will it be possible for me to be informed of what your appraisal of my comments is - in advance of the meeting?
[2] Will I be addressing the committee before or after my comments and your appraisal of them, is presented to the committee?

I have checked with Committee Services and you will be able to address the committee before your comments are discussed. You will receive a copy of the comments on the policy and Sue's appraisal of them shortly. There are some areas that needed legal input and your letter was one of them. I have just checked with the legal
division but they are still working on this area. I have pointed out to them that you would like to see their comments before the committee meeting so I will remind them again at the beginning of next week.

As you can see I was given the understanding in good faith that -
I would receive the Licensing Manager' appraisal and/or the Legal sections advice on my comments in advance of the meeting to enable me to study this appraisal and to be able address the Committee (for 3 minutes) prior to their consideration of all the public's comments.

The Agenda that I received in advance did not have any written appraisal of my comments nor any advice from the legal section in place of this. This was the form in which the Agenda was presented to the Committee at this meeting.

On arrival the Committee clerk (who remarked that I already had an Agenda) asked if I wished to address the Committee I confirmed that I did. I also pointed out that, as I had not seen the (promised) advanced appraisal of my comments, that I could not address the Committee on this appraisal, prior to the Committee addressing my comments (again as promised). She acknowledged this but nothing happened as a result and I had to address the Committee on other, more general matters.

I was not then aware of the next move or I would have addressed the Committee on this matter.

The Chairman announced that he intended not to go through the comments one by one but would instead just look at the written appraisal of these comments in the Agenda. The members could either not make any comment - and the appraisal would go through as worded. Or the members could discuss the appraisal, and this was what would be recorded instead.

The Chairman did not seem to be aware that this process would mean that as none of my (10 pages) of comments had written appraisal in the Agenda and had no legal advice, in is place that there was a danger that my comments would not be equally considered.

No systematic attempt was made to ensure that the committee, or I heard any verbal legal advice against each of my comments lacking the written appraisal. Some legal advice was sought or given but it would have not been possible for me or the committee to discuss or record, exactly what legal advice applied to what comment or what comment was lost completely - for the lack of any verbal advice being given.

A recess was held, after all the written appraisals had been covered and I informed the Vice-Chair that none of my comments had received the required written appraisal and that the particular comment on page 8, had not been discussed at all!

The meeting re-started and did cover this comment but no attempt was made to ensure that my other comments were adequately considered along with the public's comments that had received a written appraisal in the Agenda.

--The flawed Agenda alone meant that the specific assurances given to me in writing prior to the meeting was not met.

--That as a result of this flawed Agenda, I was unable to address the Committee as promised .

--The use of this flawed Agenda at the meeting combined with the process chosen by the chairman resulted in my comments and the required legal advice, not being equally considered and not fully recorded for submission to the full Council.   

--As I do not know what the legal advice was on my specific comments, I am sure that the Committee members will not know either.

--From my past experience I fear that the minutes will now contain some subsequent legal input against my comments. Rather like reporting a conversation where you state what you would have liked to have said rather than what you actually did say at the time.