Sunrise over Dedworth last week… there is so much going on in my world at the moment! Business is going well, we have lots of Youth project activity with Rotary and the Councillor work is getting increasingly interesting…
The first CIPFA report will be released next week exposing the shortfalls in the Conservative business model.
The Conservative’s are already talking “fresh starts” and I do hope the papers are not going to be a pushover, apparently not been the same since the previous Maidenhead Advertiser Editor left!
We could have an Independent run council by the spring the way things are going. Simon Dudley’s “shock” resignation on the Riverside has got what seems like hundreds of Conservative canvassers knocking doors, trying to reassure residents about CIPFA, nothing to see here… reports say it’s not going at all well!
Could well be another independent Councillor joining our ranks by the end of the month… excellent 😉
Here’s a snap shot of the last couple of weeks…
Tuesday 24th September was the full council meeting and you’ll see / hear I contributed a number of times offering my thoughts on a range of topics.
Minutes: Read the minutes here >>>
I submitted a couple of questions. The first around the Neighbourhood Maps. The second to find out when they plan to do the A308 Corridor Review.
I followed this with a motion to council which got the full support of the Independents & Lib Dems but the Conservatives obviously believe they don’t need any training as not a single one chose to admit they are lacking in any way! Felt like they didn’t want to be more efficient!
As a new Councillor with 30+ years business experience under my belt, I’d like to make the following motion.
i) Should enhance its project management steps, ensuring a more efficient use of council time, officers and councillors alike.
ii) Ensure appropriate training for all parties.
iii) Agrees that the key decision makers should make their thoughts known within the first few weeks of a project’s planning so that answers can be found to address their concerns before energy is wasted on bringing a plan together.
I’ve learned from this process that future motions need to ideally be singular in focus and incredibly clinical… mine was a tad long winded, with plenty of holes for the conservatives to wiggle through!
The following motion by Cllr McWillams, the communications lead elect, changed on the fly to fit his need… watching his experience and the motion getting passed, I immediately arranged to meet to discuss my technique 😉
Wednesday 25th my focus was on the Rotakids, attending a meeting at Trevelyan with students to discuss their charity works.
Thursday 26th was World Environmental Health Day and we held a meeting at Wyevale so residents to hear about and discuss the Hemwood Dell Ecological Survey. Jason Mills, Countryside Manager gave an excellent presentation.
Tuesday 1st October my focus was on researching the planning applications for Wednesday’s Planning meeting.
Wednesday 2nd I had 3 meetings. One to look at the Advantage Card, followed by discussions around a proposed Petition and a 3rd to discuss Procurement with the lead officer.
I was shocked to discover that the councils rules on procurement meant that any project under £50,000 in value only required a single quote from a supplier, under £180k on services and £500k on building work requires only 3 quotes… I brought this to the attention of senior officers and Councillors as I was very uncomfortable with that lack of control. Gaping holes with huge potential for problems!
Friday 4th and Richard and I sat down and talked about his plans for the Windsor Town Council and WWRA.
Saturday 5th I spent 3 hours walking around my ward and talking to local residents. Couple of things to take to officers…
Monday 7th after an extended meeting at Rotary to discuss our communications channels it was over to Maidenhead for an Independent Peer review meeting with a member of the Local Government Association LGA which reassured me that my methodology of using official council meetings to raise points is a great way to ensure the public get to hear about things. I wondered why the Conservatives had been so keen for me not to bring things up!
This was followed by what felt like a full council meeting to hear a little more about the Local Borough Plan and created more questions than it answered, the key one being why are residents not involved all the time? Very cloak and dagger approach which strongly indicates a need to look very carefully at the detail. I will be insisting on that at the extra-ordinary council meeting at the end of the month.
Please join us, Wednesday 23rd October 7:30pm at Maidenhead Town Hall if you want to see democracy in action? Extraordinary Full Council Meeting to discuss the Borough Local Plan.
Tuesday 8th was licencing meeting around taxis and a couple of changes to their processes.
Thursday 10th was The Great British Expo in Reading which I have been involved with since it’s conception, having run the first one myself under “Business in Berkshire” and sharing the connections with Alec and Allyson who were looking at setting up their own exhibition… they’ve really done well with the expos over the last 7 or 8 years and now run a number across the UK.
Saturday 12th It was raining so I caught up with my blogging, wrote my presentation for the extraordinary full council meeting on Wed 23rd and prepared for a meeting with Duncan Sharkey on Tuesday.
Reminds me, need to pop in and see Brian and find out what bees he’s got in his bonnet this week 😉