Astonishingly Down District Council had no submission ready for the last council meeting the Monday before the official responses have to be in. Councillors and management were left scrambling for a last-minute response thanks to the opposition of the SDLP to a cross-party approach to the councils submission.
Councillor Cadogan Enright challenged the SDLP to end their opposition to a cross-party approach to the new Hospital campaign at On Wednesday 18th July at The Downe Community Health Committee meeting in Denvirs.
Cadogan (on right hand side of pic) pointed out that when the SDLP voted down the cross-party motion on 6th June last proposed by himself the DUP and SF it left the Chief executive with no authorisation to
1. use council resources to build a professional submission on behalf of the council as a whole,
2. stopped him accessing the £30,000 budget to hire professionals to advise the council
3. and prevented him from consulting the DCHC on the councils submission.
The SDLP were represented by Margaret Ritchie and Colin McGrath (sitting beside Cadogan), and despite being asked twice to fix this problem in the interests of the whole community, they refused to respond on this point.
Cadogan warned the SDLP that the council would be hamstrung on the hospital issue unless the SDLP cooperated with the other parties on this point.
Cllr Cadogan Enright’s concerns were borne out at the council meeting of Monday 23rd July when the chief executive of the council announced that (with 4 days to go before the deadline) the council had nothing ready and nobody ear-marked to do the job – 3 months into the consultation process.
Fortunately the consultation period was extended to the 17th September – this allows the council time to make up lost ground – see next posting on Hospital Campaign Page.