At this month’s Windsor Town Forum I was halted by the chair for referring to the RBWM as dysfunctional and told I can’t describe it that way.
Dysfunctional is defined by the Oxford English Dictionary, used by Google as the defacto standard source, as “Not operating normally or properly”.
The list of examples is too numerous to mention… I have selected 3 recent examples…
1. The Windsor Town Forum is a place for residents to share their concerns, hopes and dreams with the Council but only attracts a few members of the public each time and it would be fair to say, they are outnumbered by councillors 3 to 1. At every other meeting, especially in the old face to face days, the subject of poor representation of the public is brought up by the public and effectively ignored.
At the meeting on Tuesday 24th, a member of the public was shut down by the chair for simply offering some guidance on the setting up of a Windsor Town Council! Please see terms of reference down the bottom of this page.
Ask 12 people who have attended these meetings if they think it is not operating normally or properly… would they describe the Windsor Town Forum as dysfunctional?
2. Last year I was voted Vice Chair of the Infrastructure Overview & Scrutiny Panel and immediately set to work, as per the Constitution, asking Cllrs and members of the public if they had any topics they’d like us to cover. 44 were forwarded and at the next meeting, to discuss which topics should be covered and when, instead of just the panel turning up, half the cabinet and most of the Tory Cllrs joined in. It became apparent that the primary driver for this was to disrupt the meeting and attack the credibility of the new Chair and Vice Chair.
Ask 12 people who watched the meeting, was it dysfunctional? Do they think it is not operating normally or properly?
3. 23rd June 2020 saw the Conservative Chief Whip Cllr Bhangra close down debate…
Watch above from 3 hrs 5 mins, read more about what happened here >>>
Ask 12 people who watched the meeting, do they think it is not operating normally or properly? Was it dysfunctional?
The focus of my energy, at the Windsor Town Forum, was on making the point that RBWM constantly cull the library services and the people in that department have learned to cut their cloth. I was suggesting that their skill set should be used across the Council to help RBWM make the best of a very bad situation created by a Tory Administration that have made poor decisions, seemingly based on greed and not what is best for residents.
The library teams’ focus is very much from the opposite direction, helping as many residents in need as they possibly can.
It is a sorry state of affairs when those who got us in this financial mess cannot look in the mirror and admit they got it wrong.
Thankfully, MD Duncan Sharke has identified the problem areas and is working to change things from the inside out and I am fully supportive of his direction of travel.
And the Government appear to have had enough of online meetings, shared too far and wide for their liking… far better when only the half dozen that turned up for the meetings heard what was actually said and the way it was said. 7th May could be the end of online meetings >>>
D) OTHER PANELS, FORUMS AND COMMITTEES
These Panels, Forums and Committees are conducted or sponsored by the Council either as a statutory requirement or through choice for the better economic, social or environmental reasons. They are not committees discharging Council function (i.e. making decisions) pursuant to s101 and 102 of the Local Government Act 1972.
D1 Area Forums
D1.1 Purpose The Royal Borough has established two Area Forums:
▪ Windsor Town Forum covering issues concerning the following wards:
➢ Clewer & Dedworth East
➢ Clewer & Dedworth West
➢ Clewer East
➢ Eton & Castle
➢ Old Windsor
▪ Maidenhead Town Forum, covering issues concerning the following wards:
➢ Boyn Hill
➢ Furze Platt
➢ Pinkneys Green
➢ St Mary’s
These Area Forums will provide a means whereby the Council can consult with local communities and, potentially, devolve some decision-making.
The Area Forums are given the power to spend money as delegated by Cabinet resolution; to direct neighbourhood budget expenditure in unparished areas and to send reports with recommendations to Cabinet. The Area Forums will report any such expenditure to Cabinet at least annually. In order to facilitate these roles, Area Forums will be able to work with the local residents, businesses, organisations, including public and private sector, and with other representative organisations such as Parish Councils, Chambers of Commerce, Residents’ Associations, etc., any of whom may be invited to attend and contribute to the discussions of the Area Forum. The Area Forums will be politically balanced wherever possible and the Members should represent a Ward within the areas of responsibility set out above.
The Area Forums may consider areas such as:
➢ Local Policing
➢ Local planning consultation
➢ Local youth services
➢ Local transport issues, including car parking Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead
➢ Repair and maintenance of local highways
➢ Local library and information services
➢ Local leisure, heritage and arts
➢ Local environmental initiatives