Councillors confused by town hall procedure

Councils sometimes stand accused of bamboozling the public by publishing documents written in the sort of ‘corporate speak’ language those unfamiliar with the public sector find impenetrable.

By Paul Whitehouse
Wednesday, 23 January, 2019, 07:56
Barnsley Town Hall

But councillors on Barnsley’s planning board managed to confuse themselves after lapsing into the world of officialdom over a vote on whether to turn a redundant pub into a complex of four flats – with four false starts before a final vote was accepted.

Even then, one councillor had to remind the meeting that she had been excluded from the list when named votes were cast.

A decision on whether to allow the change sounds simple enough, but was complicated by a motion – or amendment – to reject the plans, meaning effectively that councillors had to say “yes” to say “no”

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The meeting degenerated into farce as some councillors were apparently unable to keep up with that logic and then when a legal officer simplified the wording, some seemed to think the original reverse logic still applied.

After further explanation the fifth vote was carried, though Coun Doroty Higginbottom had to shout up to add her vote as she had been missed in the original count.