Raj Ghosh our St Jude campaigner today put forward a public deputation on the Lib Dem decision to remove swimming and music facilities from the Pyramids Centre without any public consultation.
Here’s Raj’s deputation to the culture decision making meeting today:
The agenda for Friday’s Cabinet Member for Culture meeting has been published and it includes a report on the Pyramids.
There is a lot of information in the report relating to the history of the site, the issues with its current set up and why the decision has been made.
It is interesting that the report is for “information only” and it is stated the decision has already been taken and presumably it is too late to be changed?
It is quite remarkable that such significant decisions about the provision of council services, and commitment of millions in taxpayer cash, can be made behind closed doors without any opportunity for formal input from other councillors or members of the public. May I ask why this has been the case on this occasion?
The report seems to justify this on the grounds of needing to “respond to the emerging priority of the Pyramids”, although it is not explained what is meant by this. Could this be explained please?
This approach to decision making has clearly been signed off by council officers so I can only assume it is both legal and constitutional but it doesn’t strike me as particularly good governance.
I understand that the proposed change of use has been in the pipeline since last year so why not engage the public at a much earlier stage (ie before the decision was made!) and give people the opportunity to have their say about what they want to happen?
After all, this report was published on democracy.portsmouth.gov.uk, however it seems from the outside to have been an undemocratic process which has led to the decision.
- Could I ask for the grounds of needing to “respond to the emerging priority of the Pyramids” be explained please?
- Could I also please ask for an explanation in regards to the lack of consultation about such a loved and cherished provision and why other councillors or members of the public were not given the opportunity to give input?