Independent Green councillor for Ryde East, Cllr Michael Lilley, has spoken out after his request to call-in the contentious decision to increase beach hut fees was rejected by a senior Isle of Wight council officer.
Cllr Lilley requested the decision be taken to the Scrutiny Committee as he felt, among other things, that the consultation was flawed and pricing unfair (see the call-in request below for full details).
Lilley: I feel this decision needs scrutiny
Cllr Lilley told OnTheWight,
“I am thoroughly disappointed with the beach hut review call-in refusal, mainly for the beach-hut owners who wanted and deserved answers.
“I feel this decision needs scrutiny and just shows the flaws in the Council’s constitution and delegated decisions.”
Stopped by non-elected IWC officer
Saying he felt the “whole system needs to reviewed” calling it “undemocratic”, he went on to add,
“I, as an elected member on Scrutiny Committee with all the necessary required support, can be stopped in my tracks by a non-elected Monitoring Officer who has the last word. There is no appeal system.
“The whole system needs to reviewed as currently it is undemocratic in my eyes.”
Updated option for existing leaseholders
Last month the Deputy Leader and Cabinet member for Resources, Cllr Stuart Hutchinson introduced a new option to allow existing named licence holders to continue with a three year licence on current terms.
New leaseholders would be subject to the new arrangements.
Lilley: Cabinet Member can do what they want
Cllr Lilley finished by saying,
“I will continue to fight for the rights of residents to get answers.
“I apologise to the Beach Hut Owners who asked me for my help. I tried but failed. They had a case that the whole delegated decision paper was flawed and unworkable. But even if it went to Scrutiny, the committee could only recommend changes, in the end the Cabinet Member can do what they want to do even if it is enacting a flawed decision.”
The Monitoring Officer, Helen Miles, responded to Cllr Lilley’s call-in request by saying,
“I have read the Notification of call in and the supporting comments. I have also read the report, the representations received and the two decision papers published in this matter.
“Having considered all of the above, I do not consider that this matter can be called-in as I am satisfied that the concerns raised were taken into account by the cabinet member in making his decision.
“The decision can therefore be implemented.”