Committee exclusion rules ‘need reviewing’

ONE of the deputies excluded from Education’s college funding negotiations due to a ‘special interest’ challenged the decision without success and is calling for a review of the rules of procedure.

carlmeerveld

Education, Sport & Culture vice-president Deputy Carl Meerveld and committee member Deputy Andrea Dudley-Owen were shut out of all discussions and not allowed to access the meeting minutes.

This is because they ‘have or will have children attending the colleges as fee-payers’.

In their absence, the remaining three members – Paul Le Pelley,  Neil Inder and David De Lisle – unanimously called for a phased £3.5m. reduction in the funding of the grant-aided colleges.

Deputy Meerveld has two children currently at private primary schools but did not think this was grounds for exclusion.

‘I declared the interest but it wasn’t my decision [to not take part in discussions] and I challenged it with the officers,’ he said.

‘The rule is not very well-defined at all.

‘A ‘‘special interest’’ can be defined as basically anything.

‘It removes anyone with experience or expertise from the room, even if you or someone in your family does not have any financial interest in something.

‘It has the potential to interfere with the effective management of a committee.'

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