Cornwall Council’s City of Culture bid is under further scrutiny

This Friday, the Monitoring Officer (top legal bod) has sent an email to all Cornwall Councillors informing them that the decision made by Cornwall Council’s Cabinet on allocating £536k to the EU Capital of Culture bid has been ‘called in’ as follows:

I am writing to formally advise you that I have agreed to the Request For Call-In in respect of the Cabinet decision regarding the EU Capital of Culture Bid on 25 January.

The Grounds for call-in were that:

  • That there has been inadequate consultation with stakeholders prior to the decision being made; and
  • That there was inadequate evidence on which to base a decision and that not all relevant matters were taken into account.

It is anticipated that the Call-in will be considered at the Scrutiny Management Committee which is already scheduled for 14 February.

This Call-in power is one all Councillors can exercise if they disagree with a decision. This power is not lightly used, and therefore, this is a serious challenge to the decision. Any Call-in has to have strong ground, which also have to meet certain legal requirements.

The points of the Call-in will be discussed at the Scrutiny Management Committee who will examine all the points surrounding this decision. From this, the committee can recommend either to uphold the original decision or to vary it in some way. If there is a change it will be referred back to Cabinet with a recommendation which the Cabinet can ignore or accept. If no change, the original decision is acted upon. I can imagine this committee meeting will be one of the most well attended…

This Call-in puts the short timescale for the Capital of Culture bid under even more pressure, as nothing official can happen with the bid until such times as the Cabinet has dealt with the Call-in.

My views on the bid are exactly the same as when I voted against the recommendation at the last Cabinet HERE.

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