Friday, 27 June 2008

Petitions, Public Question Time and such

Last night was the first in this series of Town committee meetings. I usually think of Thursday evenings as quality time with my grandkids but because I had to go to the town committee I had to pick up the grandkids early. Hippy was asking me why we were in a hurry. I tried to explain by asking him what he thought a petition was. His answer was extremely accurate for one so young. When I asked him if he thought the authorities took any notice, he thought for a moment and said Nah. He’s a bigger cynic than his granddad.
The committee was a full house again with our councillors and the police being present. New chair and our new councillor as deputy chair. I presented our petitions on road safety on behalf of the Neighbour Hood Watch Association and I think it was warmly accepted. At public question time I asked the following question:-
" In Newton Ward this year we have had two local elections. Consequently we have received a lot of election leafleting. Some I thought was good, some claims a little doubtful and one I thought was an absolute whopper. In order to make the work of our local councillors more transparent can I ask that we have a report from them at the Town Committee meetings on what they have actually achieved?"
Judging by the comments from members of the public sitting close by this was considered to be a good question. The process now is for it to be forwarded to the council for a formal response. I think this will probably have to go to full council for a measured reply because of the wide ranging implications. I do not expect a quick response. I had to leave the meeting before the end but I received some information from a reliable source which needs clarification. I am advised that the leader of the Tories said that he would like to know what I had achieved and he would report if I did. Well Councillor will you confirm that that was what was said? If so I would point out that I am not an elected paid official of our council but I happy to match what you say if you will confirm your comment.
I can report that unlike him I did not go on National TV News besmirching my town to get cheap publicity and undermine the valiant efforts of those people who are trying to make our new cultural centre The pUBLIC work.
Some predictions:-
The petition, will get lost in council speak, they will claim that the road is safe and we should all go away and forget it.
Question, will largely be ignored on the grounds that they could not possibly submit to things like that because it may compromise their relative political postures.
The leader of the Tories will ignore my comments and carry on feeling smug about what he is doing.

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