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posted 21 Feb 2012, 05:17 by Westover Labour
The public will have a chance to question the officers and key councillors involved in Sedgemoor District Council's response to the West Quay Wall emergency at a special Corporate Scrutiny meeting to be held at Bridgwater House on Monday 5th March starting at 1pm. 

Chairman of the committee, Westover ward Councillor Brian Smedley, says " The meeting will be divided into 3 parts and will look at the historical timeline of events, the key decisions taken and how well or otherwise, Sedgemoor performed. The Meeting will be structured so that members of the public can contribute and officers of the council can be held  accountable."

The first part of the investigate will look at the Acute phase of the incident, concentrating on the events of the afternoon of Friday 4th November 2011, the reaction of the Emergency services  and crucial from Sedgemoors perspective, the setting up of the Civil Contingencies unit and it's management of the situation including the evacuation  and the establishment of the rest centre. SDC officer Malcolm Brooks will be presenting this section of the meeting.

Part two of the meeting will look at the consequent controlled management of the situation thereafter and will include SDC's attempts to re-house residents, re-locate businesses and what financial assistance was or wasn't provided including business rate relief etc. Gerry  Milton will be fronting this section of the meeting. Also involved will be Andy McKay-Sedgemoors buildings control expert  and Tim Mander, whose efforts were directed to help the affected businesses.

The final part of the meeting will focus on Sedgemoors corporate management of the emergency which fell to Allison Griffin, the relationship with other Agencies involved and the prognosis for the future. It is also expected that the leader of council and the relevent portfolio holder will be in attendance.

Cllr Smedley say's "The 'Scrutiny role' of Sedgemoor District Council is a crucial one. We have two Scrutiny committees and they are always chaired by opposition councillors so that the ruling group and their policies and decisions can be challenged effectively. The Community Scrutiny committee  chaired by Cllr Julian Taylor, has recently looked at the Youth provision in Sedgemoor, EDF's  so called 'community benefit' and the situation regarding the post office while the czorporate scrutiny committe -which looks internally at SDC's workings, has considered the Northgate Development scheme, listing of historical buildings and the councils medium term financial plan. We run these committees in such a way that allow for the maximum involvement of the public and something on the lines of a parliamentary select committe. "