Stopped from scrutinising decision made behind closed doors by a non-elected officer, says Cllr

Cllr Lilley requested to call-in the delegated decision to increase beach hut fees for further scrutiny, but says he was stopped by a non-elected Monitoring Officer. He says the whole system should be reviewed and believes it to be undemocratic.

Push door handle

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.

The decision – originally made in November 2018 – will see some fees increase by over 400% depending on the size of beach hut you lease from the council.

‘Flawed consultation’
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.”

Rejected
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.”


Image: thristian under CC BY 2.0

Friday, 8th February, 2019 12:59pm

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Filed under: Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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6 Comments on "Stopped from scrutinising decision made behind closed doors by a non-elected officer, says Cllr"

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the auditor
This again raises he question of who actually runs the IWCC? Is the elected members or the faceless, unelected officers, who seem to be able to over rule democratic process when it suits them . Some of the unelected and seemingly unaccountable occupants of County Hall need to remember that they are partly responsible for the floating bridge fiasco. It’s as bad a the Brussels mob at… Read more »
garyeldridge
Without doubt it is the Council Officers perpetuating a wholly corrupt and profligate and deliberately unaccontable local government process. I know, because during the early 2000s,I was recruited from the commercial business sector to a Borough Coubcil, not the IoWC , under a scheme implemented by Tony Blair, to modernise and clean up local government. Needless to say, the existing senior management did everything in their power… Read more »
davimel
As an aside, I was lured away from a commercial printers to work for a northern Health Authority as Manager, running their Printing unit. The remit was to remove the old established working ways and turn it into a zero cost venture with expansion promised when I hit the targets.I had huge issues with working practices, over payments, NO productivity for some days, no investment and a… Read more »
meganz0e10
I know I appear mentally slow here but if existing beach hut tenancies are to hold for a 3 year term that is good isn’t it? It is fair to increase to new tenants. Its a luxury for goodness sake so the new tenants either want and can afford it or they cant. Makes me cringe all this fuss over a luxury when people are eating from… Read more »
holdmyheadinmyhands

I’m pretty sure the story is about the lack of democracy and the use of delegated decisions ….. and the fact it’s a hike of 400% . Not the judgement of what’s a luxury for some by others.

meganz0e10
Agree it is about lack of democracy but also sure if their had been a decision taken under the same conditions to lower the rents the response would not have been hardly brought to the fore would they worry about democracy then??? I am all for democracy but it goes all ways. If you examine your heart could you truly say you would be up in arms… Read more »