Secrecy of Kilmardinny meeting ‘suspect’

Jo has expressed deep concern that last night’s Council meeting on the Kilmardinny/Westpark development was organised in secret.

The meeting, in which East Dunbartonshire Council approved a deal with CALA Management and Stewart Milne Holdings against the will of the people of Milngavie and Bearsden, appears to have breached the Council’s own rules.

East Dunbartonshire Council’s standing orders require that notice of Council meetings should be published at Tom Johnston House at least three days before the meeting, and the agenda should be available for the public to see. In this case, no notice was given at Tom Johnston house and no information on the agenda was available.

While the Council usually sends the agenda for its meetings to all local elected representatives and the local press, the agenda was only circulated to Councillors in this case and the meeting did not appear on the Council’s online meeting diary.

Commenting, Jo said:

“It is very troubling indeed that the Council did not operate with full transparency in organising last night’s meeting. Even in cases where it is not appropriate to have a public meeting, the public has a right to know when the Council is meeting and what it is discussing, particularly when it is something as controversial as the Kilmardinny development.

“Openness and transparency is vital in a democracy, and the fact that the Council’s own standing orders have not been followed is deeply suspect. Despite having raised these issues with the Chief Executive’s office on the day of the meeting, the Council was unable to confirm that its standing orders had been followed, nor did they seem particularly concerned about this. The Council must now explain why it has acted in this way and give an assurance that this will not happen again.”

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