onlineFOCUS – News and Stuff For Rochford District since 2003

 

March 15th, 2014 |

Awaydays

John and Christine Mason write about council ‘awaydays’ here.

They conclude:

All discussion and debate decision making should be done in the Council Chamber with residents interests at the heart of it and not in closed political meetings with party interests paramount. There is no need for a Whip if proposals are truly in line with the wishes of residents and ALL Councillors are allowed to represent residents rather than tow the political line with the Whip as dictated by a single Leader.

6 Responses to “Awaydays”

  1. 1
    Jim Cripps:

    Well, if the Parking Charge increase is anything to go by then these away days are clearly a vehicle for sounding out the level of opposition and then completely ignoring it and pushing through the wishes of the ruling Junta.
    Who funds these jollies anyway ??????

  2. 2
    John Mason:

    Jim. The Council pays. This year £1794 !!

  3. 3
    Richard Lambourne:

    Jim,

    You know the answer to your rhertorical question “The ratepayer”

    Approx £5000 pounds over the last 3 years

    It would have been better if a school or public function room had been used but this was paid to Holiday Inn

  4. 4
    Richard Lambourne:

    some time ago I challenged Cllr Simon Smith my counciller and Head of the Finance Committee

    he said

    “If you take the away days. We generally run 2 of them each year as part of the budget process. They are run on a Saturday to allow the maximum number of members to attend as many of us work. The days are for all members to attend if possible as all contributions are valued regardless of political origin. The council offices besides not being suited to the setup required is also where we argue and debate with each other, that is not the purpose of the day. So a different context is required. A fresh venue also helps to open minds and promotes creative thinking”

    I leave you to draw your own conclusions

  5. 5
    Chris Black:

    Richard, if only we (the bulk of the councillors) did ‘argue and debate with each other in the council chamber’ Too many of the councillors stay silent in the Full Council meetings. In any case serious discussion and debate should be in proper meetings, open to the public and minuted.

    Thought there is certainly a place for informal discussions between councillors of different parties. It’s called the members lounge, or maybe the pub. Or it might even be called onlineFOCUS.

  6. 6
    Richard Lambourne:

    Chris,

    Were all non tories invited to attend the Holiday Inn meetings or was it just Finance Committee and Officials ???

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