SENIOR Thurrock Council officers were left embarrassed after a bureaucratic bungle that meant the authority’s cabinet meeting was cancelled moments before it was due to begin.
Wednesday nights meeting contained a number of key agenda items including contract procurement, animal welfare and – somewhat ironically – the council’s communications strategy.
However, with councillors poised to begin dealing with the agenda it was pointed out to council leader Cllr Rob Gledhill, by Thurrock Nub News editor Neil Speight that the meeting had not been convened in accordance with local government guidelines and was taking place in a venue not notified to members of the public who had the right to attend.
Therefore, any decisions reached might not be legal and could be open to dispute.
The meeting had been switched from the council chamber in the civic offices to the nearby Beehive Community Resource Centre.
Cllr Gledhill immediately went into private consultation with council CEO Lyn Carpenter and its legal and monitoring officer and assistant director Ian Hunt.
A further brief meeting, behind closed doors, with cabinet members followed before Cllr Gledhill announced the meeting was not legal and had to be called off.
A statement today (Thursday, 14 October) from the council says: “An administrative error in listing the venue meant that the Cabinet meeting scheduled for 13 October 2021 could not go ahead as it would not have been lawful.
“All items on the agenda will be dealt with in accordance with Thurrock Council’s constitution. We apologise for any inconvenience caused.”
For Mr Speight’s thoughts, click below.