All three opposition councillor groups call for "extraordinary meeting" to discuss broadband failings

All three opposition groups on AVDC have joined forces to call for an Extraordinary Meeting of the Council to debate the report into the failings of Aylesbury Vale Broadband.

Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 3:22 pm
Updated Tuesday, 19th June 2018, 4:58 pm
All three opposition councillor groups call for "extraordinary meeting" to discuss broadband failings

The constitution of the Council requires that if five Members request the Chairman to arrange such a meeting then it must be held within fifteen days.

Commenting on this development Liberal Democrat group leader, Cllr Anders Christensen said ‘Whilst the Audit Committee have discussed the report and agreed its findings, that discussion was limited to a handful of the fifty nine members of the Council.

"Furthermore nobody has been held to account over the failings of oversight by the board of AVB which were evidenced in the report’.

Cllr Peter Cooper, leader of the Independent group on the Council, endorsed these comments and added "BDO produced a comprehensive, well researched review and it is important that the whole Council are able to debate the findings and make sure lessons are learnt and implemented.

"Simply endorsing the findings of the review at Audit Committee has dodged the question of why AVB failed, who was responsible and how similar mistakes can be avoided in the future."

Labour group leader Cllr Robin Stutchbury was also one of the five members who signed the request. Cllr Stutchbury said ‘Only an open and transparent debate by the full Council will ensure that there is full accountability and an opportunity to apportion blame for the losses incurred.

"Otherwise the public will assume that we are turning a blind eye to the many negatives highlighted in the report."

Cllr Anders Christensen, Leader Lib Dem Group AVDC, Cllr Allison Harrison, Deputy Leader LD Group AVDC, Cllr Peter Cooper, Leader Independent Group AVDC, Cllr Robin Stutchbury, Leader Labour Group AVDC, Cllr Llew Monger were the five signatories that called for the meeting.

Neil Blake, leader of AVDC said: “The forthcoming extraordinary meeting will give councillors a further opportunity to debate the recent independent review into AVB, as the democratic process allows.

"This follows a recent Audit Committee meeting at which the review’s findings were discussed, agreed and the report approved

"All councillors were invited to this meeting and given the opportunity to ask questions and around half attended.

"Whilst this review makes a number of recommendations, which will be taken forward, it is important to clarify that it does not state that AVB was a failure.

"As the report makes clear, AVB’s assets were sold on to market leaders Gigaclear at the end of 2017 - who continue to expand the service to rural areas of the Vale.”