You mention that officers have the ability for a number of the people criticise– that may be the case but unfortunately they have to write reports that meet the needs of the relevant Lead Council Member and as you state it is here that the knowledge just does not exist. Speak to some of the officers responsible for writing reports and they will tell you that they are not always allowed to put their professional views forward if they are different to the Lead Member. A culture of fear has developed and officers are not permitted to challenge Council Members and certainly have become accustomed to having to bury ‘bad’ news- or more crucially a truthful viewpoint. Talk to officers in the Council and you would be surprised what they would say ‘off the record’.
I , with respect cannot believe that a culture of fear has developed and officers are not permitted to challenge Council Members. The Lead Member does not write the reports, in fact, I believe that most Lead Members are incapable of doing so. The Lead Members do not have enough knowledge of their areas of speciality to be able to do this. If you observe the Executive Board webcasts, when the Lead Member is presenting a report, an officer of the Council sits next to them to answer any questions that may arise from the report. Is this not enough to demonstrate how much a Lead Member knows.
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