#Calderdale Council Meeting 2nd October: Councillors’ chance to question Cabinet and Scrutiny Panel reports & vote on motion condemning Bedroom Tax

The Summons to the 2nd October Council meeting says that any Member of the Council may comment on, or ask the Chair of a Scrutiny Panel or a Committee a question about, the discharge of the Panel/Committee’s role and responsibilities since the last meeting of the Council.  In the absence of a Chair, the question may be asked to the Deputy Chair.

(Too late for this meeting, it turns out the public can also ask questions at full Council.)

If there are any issues you’d like your Councillors to ask about, here’s how to find out who they are and how to contact them.

And here’s the Agenda for the Council meeting.

Questions for Chair of Adults Health and Social Care Scrutiny Panel

I have asked my ward Councillors to ask the Chair of AHSC Scrutiny Panel these questions.

  1. Why did the SP hold an unscheduled private meeting on 1st September? Was the meeting minuted and what did it decide?
  2. Given that the Calderdale and Kirklees Joint Health Scrutiny Committee is now meeting to scrutinise the two CCGs’ commissioning intentions for the community health care part of the Right Care Right Time Right Place NHS transformation of Calderdale and Huddersfield NHS and social care, when is the AHSC SP going to use its power to tell Calderdale CCG to consult the public on its commissioning intentions for this part of the Right Care service reconfiguration – which the CCGs have now re-branded as Care Closer to Home?
  3. The SP agreed, when it decided to act on a petition from Save Calderdale Royal Hospital campaigners, that members of the public would be able to ask questions of the NHS organisations when they appeared at the Scrutiny Panel. So why were no questions from members of the public allowed at the last SP meeting, when Calderdale CCG appeared before the scrutiny panel to explain why they had overridden the SP request not to make the decision to set up the new Care Closer to Home community health care system without consulting the public?
  4. Since the AHSC SP has not managed to nail down the CCG or the CHFT at its meetings, when is it going to appoint an external advisor or advisors to help it hold the Calderdale NHS organisations to account? And what are its intentions with regard to the request by local Save Calderdale Royal Hospital campaigners to appoint Prof Allyson Pollock as an external adviser to the SP?

Questions about Calderdale Community Energy Company and North Halifax social/affordable housing

Also, any Councillor can ask questions about reports  by the Council Leader and Cabinet members. I have asked my ward Councillors to ask Cllr Barry Collins about these items in his report:

  1. Has the Calderdale Community Energy Company been set up? If so, who are the partner members along with CMBC and where is its website or public face? If not, why not and is it still planned to set it up?
  2. Has the proposed “special purpose vehicle” been set up, to help kick-start  new social/affordable housing in North Halifax?
  3. Given that a special purpose vehicle is the type of company that is set up to control the financing of PFI schemes, does this mean there is a plan for funding this social/affordable housing through a PFI scheme? If not, why has the Council chosen to set up this special purpose vehicle?

Motion condemning Bedroom Tax

Finally, Cllr Bob Metcalfe is proposing a motion calling on the Council Leader to write to:

  • Ian Duncan Smith, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, repeating its condemnation of the Bedroom Tax, which has had such a damaging effect both on local people and the Calderdale economy; and
  • the MPs for Halifax and the Calder Valley, calling on them to support the Affordable Homes Bill, introduced by Andrew George MP, which would amend the policy, providing exemptions, for example, for those who cannot find a smaller property.

Here’s hoping all Councillors will vote for this motion.

Info about the Affordable Homes Bill here.

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