CBC Full Council Titbits

Things that we now know following the CBC Full Council meeting this evening…

Have Your Say is Alive and Well

Hurrah!

FOUR public speakers for February’s Full Council. As a reminder – ANY residents can address all CBC meetings and… Have Their Say.

This is not a statutory #localgov thing. It is to the absolute credit of CBC that this is allowed to take place.

It’s usually BONKERS of course.

Joan from Colchester Fair Trade Group explained more about the work of her group. And then handed over a certificate for Mr Mayor.

Which was nice.

Have Your Say Speaker No.2 addressed concerns about building work on the old Essex County Hospital site.

And then…

#HAMMERTIME

Hurrah!

Andy Hamilton was actually laughing throughout most of his three minutes of fame for this month.

It was like listening to one of those Test Match Special commentary pieces where the old boys can’t contain themselves and piss their pants after mentioning a wicket keeper called Mr Penis.

The subject?

Duh.

@firstsite, of course.

He just about managed to get to the main point of demanding that CBC ends the lease for firstsite and hands it over to a pole dancing club instead.

We think.

Plus cheekily asking for a public referendum on firstsite during the May elections.

And then he was BELLED.

DONG.

Cllr Tim Young replied:

“Now it’s here, let’s make it work. It’s going through difficulties. There needs to be new focus.”

A bit like the CBC Cabinet…

Have Your Say Speaker No.4 was Nick Chilvers. He raised some half-decent points about the length of those bloody CBC PDF documents, plus the possibility of taking Cabinet out on a Sunny Colch roadshow.

firstsite was mentioned back in the day…

The default CBC Conservative Attack Seems to be that the WEIRD LibLab Cabinet is *not* the Tory ECC Controlled Council – Which is ODD

CBC Leader Cllr Martin Young admitted that the Strategic Plan lacked detail. But that apparently was the point. It is a strategy…

Staff feedback and focus groups formed the Strategic Plan. Heritage leads heavily.

It all sounded rather jolly, up until Nu Danger Nu Tory Leader Cllr Willetts announced that the collective work is:

“TOSH.”

Ta for coming, etc.

A rant then followed stating that CBC has been inclusive when drawing up the plan. No credit has been given to others.

Those others?

Essex County Council of course.

That will be CONSERVATIVE Essex County Council.

But then it wouldn’t be the CBC Strategic Plan; it would be the Strategic Plan that ECC wants to strangulate CBC with in yet another poxy party political scoring match.

We’re pleased that Cllr Willetts doesn’t play in our weekly 5-a-side team.

Another Tory own goal.

Cllr Julie Young looked at the economic elements in the Strategic Plan. Her Comrade Cllr Dave Harris cited the Berechurch Day of Action to show how the detail is actually working on the ground.

We doubt if anyone at ECC knows where Berechurch is.

Um, neither do we…

Strategic Plan PASSED.

Sustainability is a #localgov Buzzword that Best Describes EVERYTHING

Cllr Tim Young asked a rhetorical Q:

“Can we afford to have a Sustainability Plan?

Can we afford *not* to have a Sustainability Plan?”

Substitute the phrase Sustainability Plan for five pints of lager and welcome to our world.

Sustainability isn’t all about Third Way twaddle. We heard about traffic pollution, education, climate change, fuel poverty, #WHEELIEBINS – we sometimes wonder if CBC isn’t just one big sustainability fun house.

Strategic Plan PASSED

Budgets are the Bog Roll of Local Politics

Budgets are BORING.

You don’t say.

Especially so when all party Leaders have an unlimited time period in which to deliver their points.

But wait! What’s this?

Budgets MATTER.

You know when you get round to that time in the month ahead of payday when you have run out of bog roll? You need to make decisions quick on your feet (or arse) and adjust accordingly.

We *think* that the WEIRD LibLab budget of 2015 is the Andrex of local authority finance. Quality hasn’t been cut, but the number of sheets have been slightly reduced.

One to wipe, one to polish.

The Tories meanwhile want to out-source your bottom wiping to Lidl. Cllr Willetts confirmed the Conservative stance of CBC being a:

“Commissioning Council.”

Everything is available for the cheapest price that the private sector can afford to offer.

It is the arse end of local politics.

It is shit.

Nu Danger Nu Tory Leader meanwhile was happy to take a poop right on the doorstep of our town:

“Colchester is a town in decline.”

Now go and wash your hands.

It all then got slightly ideological from Cllr Tim Young. This is no bad thing.

We went on a tour of the austerity map of the UK. Colchester hasn’t been hit as hard as some of the inner city Labour Councils, but it ‘aint exactly benefitting financially from the central government settlement like the True Blue Shires are.

Funny that.

£45 a head has been lost for every resident.

That’s a lot of toilet paper to roll back in.

“We value our staff. They do a GREAT job for our residents. People who work in #localgov vote. They won’t vote for you.”

Ouch.

And let us not forget the often maligned [by us] Highwoods Indie group.

Cllr Gerald Oxford added:

“If we become a commissioning authority then the only people who will benefit will be the shareholders.”

Which is probably what Cllr Willetts wanted to hear.

Conservative Cllr Pauline Hazell took offence to some of the Tory bashing:

“It is a cheap jibe to say that Conservatives don’t care. I take it as a personal insult.”

And here’s the tricky bit for any objective [ARF] hyperlocal blog. Cllr Willetts and his extreme right rhetoric most certainly does give this impression.

But it is the likes of Cllr Hazell and her Conservative group that elected and gave him a platform to come across slightly right of UKIP.

A named vote took place on the budget. 19 (NINETEEN) Tories abstained. Which means they can’t criticise the LibLab budget over the next 12 months.

We’ll remember that one, Comrades.

The Magna Carta Motion Made #HAMMERTIME Seem Sane

As predicted, the whole Magna Carta motion was an absolute waste of everyone’s time. We could have been back at base finding out who killed Lucy Beale.

Instead we were stuck with Cllr Willetts even failing to understand himself what the chuffers he was trying to achieve with his BONKERS motion.

He went on.

And on, and on, and on.

Until Labour’s Cllr Cyril Liddy pleaded for the madness to stop and go straight to the vote on his amendment.

No arguments from anyone – not even Cllr Willetts.

We were pleased that only four residents were present in the Public Gallery to witness how embarrassing #localgov can sometimes be.

When Politicians of Different Parties Work Together, Local Progress can be Achieved

The only glint of cross-party consensus ahead of the local elections came when LibDem Cllr Martin Goss got to debate his Cymbeline Way motion.

Events have overtaken the original intentions, with the ECC ‘Transport Symposium’ last Friday agreeing to put in place a temporary crossing.

Cllr Goss was successful in passing his motion to make this more permanent.

Discussions about Railways ALWAYS Become Politicised

You say Hythe, we say Colchester Hythe.

The LibDem motion from Cllr Julie Havis to rename the Hythe to Colchester Hythe got a little political.

Cllr Tim Young amended the simple re-naming motion to add:

“This Council supports a more integrated railway under a publicly accountable authority which would make the changes outlined above far easier to achieve.”

Cllr Havis sighed:

“My motion was never about who runs the railways, but if it makes it easier to pass…”

And it was.

When Full Council Kicks Off it ‘Aint Pretty

A motion from Conservative Cllr Sue Lissimore about foster care just confused us. It was late in the evening. We had a train to catch and wanted some BOOZE.

It all got very messy with Points of Order and lots of SHOUTING.

We just wanted to go home.

Apologies.

Questions to Cabinet Members is Where the REAL Political Stories can be Found (if you can be arsed to turn up…)

Commercial confidentiality” is the stock answer when you don’t know the answer. This was the case for various stalled town centre regeneration policies.

Cabinet is going to consider a report next month that will allow CBC to foot the bill to turn back on the street lights. Cllr Martin Hunt requested for a report to be drawn up after hearing a plea from Cllr Dave Harris.

Read all about it, etc.

Or don’t.

We’d love to tell you more about the ‘Wonderhouse’ cultural HUB that is planned for the old bus depot along Queen Street.

But Cllr Anne Turrell, the Cabinet member responsible was “on holiday” when this was drawn up.

Gosh.

Beware the Ides of March, Comrades.

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