Councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council had the opportunity tonight to hear statements from members of the public about the proposed hostel and wet house near Kingsmead Square.
However Liberal Democrat Councillors were disappointed when the ruling Conservative Group refused to hold a 10 minute ‘urgent issue’ debate on the topic. One Conservative Cabinet Member even complained that Councillors were using the right to ask factual questions of public speakers as a chance to raise political points.
Councillor Andy Furse (Kingsmead) commented:
“The fact that the Conservative administration refused to allow a debate in public about the wet house and hostel proposal smacks of the secrecy that has surrounded this issue since the start.
“Nearly all the business owners and residents who came to speak mentioned the lack of consultation and engagement from the Council. One might begin to wonder whether there is more information which will impact businesses and the community which is so far being held back. For example I tabled a question to Council tonight and in the answer the Cabinet member refers to a ‘wet garden’ rather than an indoor facility. This is the first we have heard of a ‘wet garden’ and it seems as though the Cabinet member is once again moving the goalposts.
“I do, however, welcome the Cabinet member’s suggestion about ‘commissioning independent research’ into the wet house scheme and I urge him to make sure any research is shared with the public and businesses in an open and transparent fashion.”