Last night full council refused to discuss the executive pay award which Cllr Ed Murphy (LAB) raised as a comment on the minutes. Ed claims the award has a dating problem and could therefore have been made ultra vires.
I was so stunned by the way this was handled by the new mayor (legal advice or comment was not even sought) that I missed the exact words of the dismissal, but it was dismissed in about four words. Could have been “You can’t have that.” Over so quickly.
Basically from the Spectators Gallery our council appeared not interested last night in defending itself in public against a charge it may have acted “beyond its powers”, i.e. unconstitutionally. Not only that, but on one of the most politically contentious areas of its responsibility: executive pay being a marker for escalating levels of inequality in society and in our organisations.
Whereas various councillors sprang to support Harrington’s dismissed second motion (which by then was history), not a single councillor supported Ed Murphy’s assertion (either properly at the time or subsequently by way of solidarity or rhetorical effect – both options being wide open to them).
It seems to me that there are at least three possible explanations:
Which is it? Or is there another?
So glad I’m not the minutes secretary!