Rural broadband campaigners will be allowed to speak at DCC scrutiny meeting but transparency is a gift not a right according to Councillor Moulding

Amazing what a little adverse publicity and pointing out of hypocrisy can do:

http://www.westernmorningnews.co.uk/Public-invited-speak-council-broadband-scrutiny/story-27723281-detail/story.html

The Owl takes some credit for this change of mind after pointing out that Councillor Moulding did not practise what he preached:

https://eastdevonwatch.org/2015/08/27/businesses-without-broadband-not-allowed-to-give-evidence-to-dcc-scrutiny-committee-which-is-chaired-by-councillor-andrew-moulding

But we still have to point out that the right for the public to speak is being touted as a special and generous gift from said Councillor when, in fact, he, and DCC should be highly embarrassed by the fact that normally the public can’t address a SCRUTINY committee!

Anyone see the problem here – that the only people allowed to scrutinise the council are the councillors themselves and that the Scrutiny Committee is chaired by a majority party councillor, against accepted guidelines that the Chair should be from a minority party! It was touted thus by Councillor Moulding:

“It is not common practice for the public to give evidence at council scrutiny meetings, so the decision by chairman councillor Andrew Moulding marks a break from tradition.”

and thus by the Vice-Chair:

“I have always favoured public involvement and very much welcome this change of heart,” he said. “Openness and transparency are vital ingredients of any democratic process”.

The moral of this story? If you want transparency, you have to fight for it, it isn’t your right it is their privilege to grant it to you.