This is the rather terse statement on the Brent Council website announcing the very unusual change in the meeting of Full Council.
Peter Goss gave me rather fuller information just before his office closed on Friday:
However, this raises rather more questions than it answers.Councillors have this afternoon been notified that the Full Council meeting on 17 November has been moved to 8 December in order that the outcome of the consultation on the borough plan can be considered as part of the 1st reading of the budget. The web site has been amended to reflect this change.
1. Who made the decision and under which provision of the Brent Constitution?
2. When the Council has a carefully constructed Forward Plan how was this major item missed in the calendar?
3. With the Borough Plan consultation not closing until Friday November 28th, how will it be possible for the Brent officers to compile a report for Full Council in just 5 working days?
I remain sceptical about the reasons for this decision.
One consequence of the three week delay is that some councillors may be caught in the six month rule. This disqualifies councillors from office if they have not attended a council meeting, which they are expected to attend, in a six month period.
Unless some special dispensation is granted, or councillors presently not on a committee are drafted on to a committee that meets before November 24th, there appear to be three councillors who face disqualification as a result of the postponement.
These are John Duffy (Kilburn), Zaffar Van Kalwala (Stonebridge) and Ahmad Shahzad (Mapesbury).
This may (or may not) be an unintended consequence of the postponement decision but it would be absurd, and expensive, if as a result of the postponement three by-elections are triggered.