• Devon County Council health scrutiny committee district representative must consult before voting

    12th September 2017 | News | Claire
  • The Procedures Committee (which I am a member of) met this afternoon and debated the fallout of the controversial July health scrutiny meeting where the chair ended up as the subject of a Standards Committee hearing, following a vote against a referral to the Secretary of State over the loss of 72 community hospital beds.

    Paul Diviani, leader of EDDC, also voted against a referral to the Secretary of State, despite his own council robustly opposing the bed cuts.

    His actions have been much criticised by local people, who quite reasonably, believe that Cllr Diviani did not carry out his responsibility fully.

    If he had voted in line with the views of his own council a referral on the closure of 72 hospital beds, would now be winging its way to the Secretary of State for Health, as the vote was so close – 7/6.

    Later, Cllr Diviani (who is now facing a vote of no confidence at a specially convened meeting tomorrow evening) admitted that he had not asked any district council for its position on hospital bed closures.

    At this afternoon’s Procedures Committee, it was proposed, seconded by me, that the district council member of the health scrutiny committee, should be required to “collate” the views of local councils before speaking and voting on health scrutiny agenda items.

    It’s a nonsense that an appointed representative should not actually need to represent the views of local councils so this move should mean that in future, the representative will fully and fairly discharge his duty.

    The recommendation will go before full council next month.