Cabinet decision on Old Abbey House accepted by watchdog

The decision by Vale of the White Horse District Council’s Cabinet to secure the future for Old Abbey House in Abingdon has been accepted by the Council’s Scrutiny Committee.

The council expects to be able to announce the full details of the decision in the new year.

In the meantime, the council’s Scrutiny Committee which acts as a watchdog, has found the Cabinet’s decision-making process to be fair.

At its meeting on 15 December, not only did it agree to accept the Cabinet’s decision, it also found the process the council went through to invite bidders for the building to be fair and that no information was unduly kept from the public.

The Scrutiny Committee is made up of councillors from all parties. The Chair of the Scrutiny Committee, an opposition councillor, had ‘called in’ the Cabinet’s original decision on 4 December.

The full resolution agreed at Scrutiny is as follows:

Scrutiny Committee decisions

RESOLVED to:

(a) accept the decision made by Cabinet on 4 December 2020 and advise Cabinet accordingly;

(b) record that the committee found the process to be fair, and no information was unduly kept from the public; and

(c) ask Cabinet to consider for the future the communication with the public on such decisions as the committee supports complete transparency where possible.

A commitment to transparency and increasing meaningful engagement and communication with its communities are among the key priorities the council has set out in its Corporate Plan.

The Cabinet met on 18 December and welcomed the Scrutiny Committee’s comments and endorsed its recommendations.