Catford to be nationalized behind closed doors

Just as we celebrate the liberation of the expenses’ list Lewisham Council’s bosses instead decide that the papers for this week’s extraordinary Full Council Meeting regarding the proposal to buy the Catford Centre for redevelopment are all confidential i.e. not for you and me.
This is all we’re allowed to know:

It is recommended that under Section 100(A)(4) of the Local Government Act 1972, the press and public be excluded from the meeting for the following items of business on the grounds that they involve the likely disclosure of exempt information as defined in paragraphs 3, 4 and 5 of Part 1 of Schedule 12(A) of the Act, as amended by the Local Authorities (Executive Arrangements) (Access to Information) (Amendments) (England) Regulations 2006 and the public interest in maintaining the exemption outweighs the public interest in disclosing the information:-

I’m really not happy about this.
There may be reasons to keep discussions confidential, but there are all sorts of meetings at Council where they can flesh out deals without the public and the press nosing around, and this is particularly true for boroughs that adopted the Executive Mayor system like Lewisham.
The wrap of confidentiality at Full Council meeting means that if any member of the Council has an objection to the deal he or she will be unable to tell us why.


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2 Responses to “Catford to be nationalized behind closed doors”

  1. Chris Mahon Says:

    “There may be reasons to keep discussions confidential”

    Did you ask them? I mean there are some fairly obvious and valid reasons, no?

  2. Max Says:

    As I said in the post, I don’t think that the Full Council meeting should be confidential.
    All the work done to get a deal is done confidentially and it does not happen at Council meetings, it’s something done by officers, and technically only the Mayor’s agreement is required, not the Council, because we’re in an Executive Mayor system.
    The Executive and the Council are two different things.
    Recently the Mayor decided to transfer the property of the Loampit Vale land to Barratt Homes and all discussion pertaining the contract was carried confidentially at Mayor and Cabinet, which is the Executive, that’s how the system works here.

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