Posts Tagged ‘Comittees’

Councillor Capers. March 2009.

Under the prudent and wise leadership of Cllr Arnold Woolley, Flintshire’s Leader, the Coalition ( in government for almost a year now); set its first budget. The first attempt pitched it at a 3.5% increase; fully aware of the prospect of swingeing cuts next year by WAG. The only real stumbling block to a Coalition consensus was the newly proposed Ward Councillor scheme, which allowed members to spend up to a given sum on their own ward improvements. Rural members of my Group favoured it whilst I, sharing Ewloe with an Independent Cllr, felt conflict could arise. I worried about transparency in how the projects were chosen & also the cost of policing & administering the scheme. Cynical County Hall watchers could easily dismiss this project as a local member ward jolly and argue that the scheme should be shelved in favour of a smaller council tax rise. Arnold and the Finance team were prepared to offer smaller amounts and build in extra monitoring which resulted in the original draft budget increase being shaved down again. When my Group met under our leader, Nigel Steele Mortimer on 3rd March, it seemed that the Ward Scheme had been ditched complexly completely …..

Planning Decisions

On Monday 28th July, I joined the bus taking Planning Committee members to see the sites.  It’s all taken very seriously and, at each site, we are reminded of the rules of engagement, including that the objectors are not allowed to address us and we do not make any decision on the spot but wait until the committee meets later in the week. A neighbour was objecting to the erection of a two-storey extension that would replace a smaller one.  Bus rolled up to a very smart part of Mold and we all trooped into the applicant’s garden to have the facts explained by our officers.  We then trotted round the corner to the garden of the objecting neighbours to look at things from their side of the fence.  The neighbours could only stare mutely at us as we wandered around observing and noting, as the rules do not allow objectors to address us.  I thought the objection was unsustainable and wondered how much this visit alone had cost, taking into account the bus, the driver and the time out for officers and councillors alike.