Monday, 23 May 2011

Executive Rules OK - all reports and recommendations approved with little discussion and no dissent

Tonight's Executive Meeting started promisingly when it looked as if there might be some debate and thus calling into question the views I express below. Parents who had concerns about proposals on short-term residential provision for children with disabilities made a presentation and were supported by Cllr Helga Gladbaum. I have asked the parents for further information on their concerns and hope to publish it shortly.

Cllr Gladbaum said she had visited both units which provide short-term breaks at Crawford Avenue in Wembley and Clement Close in Willesdsen. The proposal is to close Crawford Avenue and she wanted to know if there had been consideration of the closure of Clement Close, the smaller of the units and utilise the spaciousness of Crawford Avenue. In answering, Krutika Pau, Director of Children and Families said that the closure of Crawford would save more money as it was rented from Barnardos and that it lacked a lift. In answer to Cllr Gladbaum's question about what alternative provision would be available if parents chose direct payments, instead of the council short-break provision, Krutika Pau said that there had been some successful purchasing of alternative provision and that this method would offer flexibility.  Ms Pau confirmed that the new facility at the Village School would be open in the Autumn of 2012, before the main school building which was scheduled to open in September 2012.  The Executive then voted in favour of the Officer's recommendation to cease short breaks at Crawford Avenue from October this year.

Apart from a small flurry when Paul Lorber tried to extend the period libraries will remain open for study, the pattern of the evening returned to the usual form. Lead councillors summarised reports, often barely audibly, and then the officers' recommendations were approved without discussion.  Eighteen decisions, with often far-reaching consequences, were taken in less than an hour.

The updates on Libraries and Waste Management, despite the issues covered earlier in this blog, were noted without dissent and the awarding of a 10 month contract to Brent Play Association for delivery of services at Stonebridge Adventure Playground and Special Educational Needs Afterschool Clubs was approved with no discussion of the longer term future of these facilities.

So, every recommendation approved with minimal discussion.

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