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Brentwood Borough Council

FOI 6549

Rejected Residents Questions

Request

FoI Request: Disallowed Residents Questions from Ordinary Council meeting 10th July 2013.

Would you kindly supply me with the list of questions that were submitted by Brentwood residents but rejected, together with the reasons why they were disallowed, (as mentioned at the meeting.)

Response

Please see below details of the 5 questions received from Brentwood residents and the reasons they were disallowed.

One resident submitted four questions which the Mayor disallowed, as follows:

1. "When will each councillor individually vote as to whether or not Councillor Keith Parker should resign in a secret ballot."

The Mayor considered the question to be irrelevant since calling for a vote of this type served no purpose since the other Councillors have no power to require a Councillor to resign and only the electorate for that Ward can change the Councillor for any Ward at the next election.

2. "Contemporary society seems to have lost its moral bearings, except for an uneasy faith in market forces.

Which councillors sitting in the chamber this evening will stand and repeat the following words?

"I, Councillor _____________, promise to do my best without expectation of any personal financial gain in addition to the allowance and expenses paid to me".

"I promise to work solely for the benefit of the residents who live in my ward which is ____________ and also for those residents who live in the Borough of Brentwood".

The Mayor considered the question to be irrelevant since all Borough Councillors have to sign a declaration upon becoming elected and adhere to the Code of Conduct.

3. "Is it true that Councillor Keith Parker has been awarded £12,000 security fencing contract at the Hutton Community Centre refurbishment project, but he was also a warded the handing baskets contract for the jubilee Year celebrations in 2012 and possibly others?"

The Mayor considered the question to be irrelevant since the information is already disclosed by Cllr Parker on the Members Interests page on the Council website.

4. " In the front of the Agenda for the Ordinary Council Meeting on Wednesday 15th May 2013, the Members' Interests section referred to the 1972 and 1989 Acts which "ensure that the public can have confidence that councillors are putting public interest first and not benefiting the financial affairs of themselves ..."

Not only was no reference made to the 1972 and the 1989 Acts, but the words in quotation marks were also omitted in the Members' Interests section at the beginning of the Agenda for the Licensing Committee meeting on Tuesday 4th June 2013.

Is this because Councillor Keith Parker has been awarded the security fencing contract at Hutton Community Centre?"

The Mayor considered the question to be irrelevant since the changes to the constitution which were made in May were simply to update a document which had not been updated for many years. This change was agreed at Annual Council and applied to agendas after Annual Council and this was therefore nothing to do with Councillor Parker

Another resident submitted a question which the Mayor has disallowed on the grounds that it was scurrilous, as follows:

"Councillor Keith Parker was awarded the security fencing contract at the Hutton Community Centre project.

The dictionary defines the word "service" as "the act of helping or doing work for another or for a community".

Has Keith Parker become a Brentwood Borough Councillor for this reason or is he mainly interested in "self service"?"