A PHONE call just before Powys County Council’s cabinet meeting on Tuesday has postponed the implementation of a policy that would bring a uniformity to parking policies across the county.
For more than half an hour, councillors were confused as to whether a new parking policy for Powys had been offered to the scrutiny committee to look at, or not.
And whether the cabinet could go ahead and make a decision on the policy or be forced to delay until the New Year.
This would have given the scrutiny committee a chance to look at the proposals,
The document sets out Pows County Council’s approach and general principles to parking across all the towns and villages of Powys.
Cllr Liam Fitzpartick, cabinet member for highways, said he had been told by officers in his department that the scrutiny committee had declined the chance to look at the Parking Policy as they needed to “concentrate on scrutinising changes to Child Services”.
However the joint chairs of Powys’ scrutiny committees held that as the policy was not part of the authority’s forward work plan and it had not been put into their diary to look at yet.
Cllr Liam Fitzpatrick, said: “What we have is an equitable policy for the whole of the county.
“We’ve been to meetings in September with this paper, it’s been available to scrutinise, my officers and myself have done everything possible.
“I see no reason not to proceed.”
Cabinet member for education, Cllr Myfanwy Alexander, felt concerned that the scrutiny committee was effectively blocking the policy,
“This should go back to scrutiny with a huge warning notice, it’s not the correct process to pull it back at this point,” said Cllr Alexander.
The cabinet was warned that pushing through policies with a lack of scrutiny beforehand could have consequences down the line.
Cllr John Morris, chairman of the audit committee, warned the cabinet: “The problem is aligning work programmes and of having the time to scrutinise these papers.
“If issues come up, the first thing the Audit Office asks is: whether it received pre-scrutiny?”
As there was no paper trail to confirm if the scrutiny committee had declined the chance to look at the policy, it was decided to defer a decision until the next cabinet meeting on January 9.
Interim chief executive David Powell said: “We will take this away and have a look at it, this should not happen, this cabinet needs to do business.”