Last week, I wrote about the decision made by the cabinet of East Riding of Yorkshire Council (ERYC) to approve a discretionary payment of £364, 205 to the pension pot of outgoing Corporate Services Director, Sue Lockwood. This decision was called-in by opposition councillors, and yesterday the Corporate Issues Scrutiny Committee agreed to refer this decision back to the cabinet, and have asked them to think again. The scrutiny committee voted almost unanimously for this decision, with the exception of the chairman, Cllr Felicity Temple.
The Leader of the Council, Stephen Parnaby, rules the Conservative group with a rod of iron. If you dare to disagree with him, and show some independent thought, instead of being in the Tory fold, you will be left out in the cold. Cllr Mark Preston can testify to this, after the debacle over the fire service cuts a couple of years ago.
As a result of this rule, Cllr Parnaby only allows two Tory councillors to call-in any requests for scrutiny. They are Cllrs Brian Pearson and the aforementioned Cllr Temple. When at least twelve Conservative councillors wanted to call this in, both of them refused. So much for democracy. Readers will also remember it was Felicity Temple who chaired the Car Parking Review Panel who decided to do nothing after a very lengthy review into parking charges. I wonder how many free or subsidised hours £364K would pay for?
This story is far from over. I’ll give you more news when it happens.