Cabinet this evening discussed the issue of the proposed sale of part of the Arts Centre to the Sixth Form College. At Council last week the Labour leadership came under fierce criticism for progressing this matter without bothering to inform or consult the local ward councillors.
At Cabinet, the Leader, Cllr Williams, and the lead member, Cllr Andy Scott, both apologised to the College ward councillors for not consulting them at an earlier stage. Furthermore, an amendment to the Cabinet paper added a period of consultation to the process.
Of course, some Labour councillors will try to present the initial failure to consult as merely an oversight. Yeh, as if! What this represents is a humiliation for the Labour leadership, who have been forced by adverse publicity to apologise. Their fictitious democratic credentials had been shown to be just that: fiction.
If the sale goes through, which would be a good thing for the Sixth Form College, though maybe not for independent arts in the town, at least now it will be done openly, democratically and with appropriate levels of participation by locally elected councillors.