Ukraine crisis: Central Bedfordshire councilor’s dismay over ‘urgent’ Russian investment issue had to wait two months in council chamber Bedford News

A councilor whose Ukraine-related question at a Bedfordshire Central Council meeting was rejected until the local authority meets again in two months has written to the chief executive asking for a response.

Flitwick’s independent adviser, Gareth Mackey, was prepared to call a special meeting of the board under the provisions of its constitution to discuss the issue of CBC’s potential Russian investments if necessary.

In an email to CBC Director General Marcel Coiffait, he described the urgency of the matter as “clear” and the board’s response as “insensitive”, stating, “I believe the members and residents deserve an answer. to this question. Radio-Canada must show leadership in this regard. publish.”

Advisor Gareth Mackey / CBC HQ

He submitted the matter by noon last Thursday (February 24) ahead of the board’s budget meeting that evening.

He said on social media: “As the tragedy in Ukraine unfolds, people can’t help but feel both outraged and scared.

“I’m sure many share my sense of shock that violent thugs are once again trampling democracy under their boots at the behest of a power-crazed dictatorship.

“I’m sure we all want the Russian state to suffer the consequences of its illegal invasion of Ukraine.

“While the people of Central Bedfordshire may not be able to do much, we can ensure that we are not providing any financial support to Russia through our investments or through other means.

“To that end, around noon Thursday (February 24), I submitted an urgent matter to the head of the CBC for our meeting that evening.”

It read: “In light of Russia’s barbaric invasion of the sovereign nation of Ukraine, can the leader confirm that this council has no interests, investments or contracts with any companies directly or indirectly related to Russia ?

“It could be (the Russian energy multinational) Gazprom, for example, which some schools use. If we do, can he confirm that these will be removed immediately where possible?

“In this way, we ensure that no support, direct or indirect, is given to the Russian state and its dictatorship.”

Councilor Mackey received no confirmation that the question would be answered at the start of the meeting.

He was later told that he had missed the deadline for ‘urgent matters’, which was 9 a.m. that morning, and that the matter would be added to the agenda for the next meeting in two months’ time. .

“Now, I don’t know about you, but I understand the definition of ‘urgent’ to mean something that requires urgent attention due to often unforeseen circumstances where advance planning isn’t always possible,” explained the adviser Mackey.

“I think the morning invasion of a country by a nuclear power seeking conquest and threatening all of Europe, and where the Prime Minister addresses Parliament in the afternoon, is perhaps admissible .

“Unfortunately, the atrophied democratic process at Radio-Canada is such that it clearly cannot adapt to the imperatives of the modern world.

“While the blood of free people is being shed, we must all do everything we can, well, maybe not CBC where the president and the leader are unable to exercise their discretion.

“For evil to succeed, it is enough that the good people do nothing.”

Following the meeting, Mr Coiffait emailed Cllr Mackey to resolve the issues raised, and a CBC spokesperson said: ‘The council has no direct investment or contract with any company in Russia.

“He knowingly has no indirect investment, either through contractors or invested funds.

“Corporate structures and investment portfolios are complex matters, and detailed inquiries should be sent to relevant organizations.”

Asked about the protocol for meetings, the spokesperson replied: “Regarding the notice of questions, a member can only ask a question in full council if:

at least seven clear business days written notice of the matter is given to the Screening Officer;

or the matter relates to urgent matters and the agreement of the Chairman of the Board is obtained and the content is given to the Supervisory Officer before 9 am on the day of the meeting.

“The question was received after this time,” the spokesperson added. “The President chose not to use his discretion to accept it, as a detailed response could not be provided due to the late notice.”

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This notice was published: 2022-03-03 21:04:43

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