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Daily Record
Daily Record
Lorraine Weir

West Dunbartonshire Council meeting ends in confusion with members joining virtually asking 'what was decided?'

Baffled councillors looked on in confusion as a crucial council meeting appeared to be ended without the final item being agreed.

Members dialling into the full council summit last Tuesday were left confused as Provost William Hendrie abruptly brought an end to proceedings.

West Dunbartonshire councillors at home had to clarify what was going on after audio cut out and it appeared the meeting was about to be finished.

Chief Executive Joyce White had to interject to clear matters up.

She said: “We will need to check out the challenges with the microphone. It might be just the Provost.”

Councillors attending virtually confirmed all they heard was monitoring officer Peter Hessett confirming that the provost had concluded the meeting.

Lawrence O’Neill said: “Can we start by finding out what was decided?”

Members have been gathering for hybrid meetings since September with some councillors in the meeting space at Church Street in Dumbarton and others continuing to join virtually.

There had been audio problems before with the council forced to apologise for the poor sound during the live meeting and on the playback function online.

However Tuesday’s issue appeared to be caused by Provost William Hendrie not activating his microphone as he bid to close the meeting.

Councillors had been discussing a consultation over the proposed national care service before moving onto an emergency item relating to concerns over a crossing in Clydebank.

Bailie Denis Agnew had submitted a motion which had been discussed by members however no amendment had been proposed.

When sound was reinstated, Mr Hesset said: “The meeting took the decision to agree the motion.

“There was no other motion.

“Unfortunately the Provost’s microphone wasn’t on at the time. The meeting has been concluded. There was no contrary motion. I am sure the Provost will take on board your feedback.”

Bemused Councillor O’Neill responded: “Those that are on Zoom didn’t hear what was decided. The meeting didn’t agree.”

SNP Councillor Diane Docherty backed up her Labour counterpart, saying: “There was just silence and that was the meeting over.

“You need to give other people a minute or two to say ‘yes agreed’.”

After explaining she was struggling to hear Councillor O’Neill who had a headset on and microphone in place, the chief executive explained that lessons would be learned from the circumstance.

She went on: “We are all going to have to slow down when we are speaking. We need to use headsets.We will look at how we can improve things for the next meeting and we will ask the Provost to take on board the comments.”

Just before the committee admin properly ended the meeting, a councillor could be heard asking: “Is that the meeting finished?” and another responding “Nae idea.”

For more local news, click here

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