Barbara Janke was an onlooker at Wednesday's scrutiny commissions meeting where her councillor underlings spent over five hours going over the plans to sell off green spaces, all across the city.
Who knows whether she'd managed to read the 400-page plus documentation, let alone the public statements, but she did hear very clear reports of a flawed consultation, mislaid papers and petitions, expert advice disregarded, Freedom of Information requests unfulfilled, all of it showing that the 'consultation report' is founded on unreliable envidence. Probably the inevitable result of asking a heavily cut-back department to deliver and assess a huge consultation and review of the city's open spaces, way beyond its own resources.
The five hour session was enough to persuade the councillors that a hasty decision to sell the land on such dodgy grounds would be unwise; far better to give it just a bit more time to make sure we get it right. After all, these are final decisions, there's no going back, and there's no rush. So that's what they recommended to the LibDem Cabinet.
The Scrutiny Commissions' appeal was echoed by many others, including even the independent Parks Forum which had until now been 100% behind the sell-off plan (and is being vilified by the Evening Post for it). Add to that the pleas of more councillors, groups like our own Friends of Stockwood Open Spaces and the Neighbourhood Partnership, residents groups and individuals.
To defer a decision on the sales seemed obvious..... Everything to gain, to make sure the eventual decisions are well founded, sustainable, and in keeping with sensible city planning. Anything else would be stupid.
A pity the Cabinet was unanimous in rejecting their advice, and chose the stupid option instead.
Something to do with false pride, the pleasure of exercising power........ or even, possibly, just being stupid?