A BRACKNELL councillor said she was “gobsmacked” to learn of a council meeting’s cancellation after being told there was nothing to discuss.

Labour councillor Mary Temperton was told by an officer that the Adult Social Care, Health and Housing overview and scrutiny panel meeting on Tuesday, November 6 would be cancelled due to a “lack of business”.

She told the News: “We used to have two panels (for adult social care) but now they have joined them together.

“You would assume that you had even more to talk about rather than nothing.”

“It would be good to know what we are trying to do in regards to loneliness, for example.

“I’m finding quite a lot of loneliness amongst the elderly (in the Great Hollands ward) and they are finding it very difficult to access what is going on in Bracknell.

“We haven’t had anyone from Frimley Park (hospital NHS Foundation Trust) come in to talk to us and there is lots going on about our organisation of health and that is not discussed. There is so much that could have been discussed.

“All of this is what an overview and scrutiny committee should be doing.

“It can’t only be me that is absolutely gobsmacked that the meeting is not taking place.

“It was scrutiny knowing what was happening and it was the only way you could find out information.”

Cllr Temperton took her views to Twitter and called the decision “deplorable”, followed by Wokingham Borough Council member Andy Croy describing the cancellation as “unbelievable”.

The News contacted Bracknell Forest Council about the cancellation of the meeting and the panel’s chairman Cllr John Harrison said: “The adult social care, health and housing overview and scrutiny panel is a recently merged panel, made up of members of the previous health overview and scrutiny panel and the adult social care and housing overview and scrutiny panels.

“As the panel is in its infancy, the work programme has not yet been finally agreed, and is in the process of development. Accordingly a decision was made to postpone the formal public meeting which will now be held at a later date and convert the meeting on the 6 November into a workshop for the panel.

“This workshop will develop a formal programme which will cover such issues as housing and associated matters, mental health issues and the relationship with the community health team, input from Healthwatch and matters relating to carers, support for carers, and issues relating to vulnerable people.

“Additionally individual members of the scrutiny panel will be allocated responsibility for specialising in specified aspects of adult, housing and social care matters.

“As part of the process for preparing for a meeting, we approach council officers and potential guests to give them advance notice of proposed agenda items so they can prepare a report or presentation as appropriate.

“We are currently trialling six meetings per municipal year for this panel rather than four, which is the usual amount for a panel of this nature.

“As is usual practice for the panel, significant outcomes will be reported back to the overview and scrutiny commission in the usual way.”