It’s a busy old agenda when the Cabinet at Colchester Borough Council next meets at the Town Hall on 21st November.
We will try and break down some of the agenda [pdf] items into single blog posts.
Colchester Chronicle: reading the most boring documents in #localgov so you don’t have to.
Let’s start with the top of the agenda item – always a half decent place to start:
Strategic Plan Spending Priorities
This is all about Cabinet updating on where the £1.95M that was allocated back in July is being spent as part of the new ‘progressive alliance’ plans.
And guess what?
The LibLabIndie lot have wasted no time in divvying up the money.
Tough on #HotJetWashers, tough on the causes leading to the use of #HotJetWashers, etc.
Stick that in your election manifesto, Comrades.
The spending centres around the check list that the ‘progressive alliance’ came up with after it found itself hanging on to power back in May:
1. Create Transport for Colchester
2. Clean up and Promote the Town Centre
3. Fight Crime and Improve Community Safety
4. Reduce Homelessness
5. Enterprising Colchester
6. Sports and Health for All
7. Reform and Refresh
Some of these pledges were in the respective party manifestos ahead of the local elections; others appeared as part of the fudge.
Democracy is ACE, innit.
A few updates:
Transport for Colchester – this is kinda happening.
Don’t expect Crossrail for Sunny Colch. Instead we have £117,00 being allocated to:
“secure better public transport and roads, to get back the power for Colchester to fix potholes, poor paths and broken roads.”
£100,000 has also been given to the Local Highways Panel. It’s a decent gesture, but considering that the Local Highways Panel coughed up £250,000 for the Wivenhoe Cycle Path, then you can see that it is peanuts.
Cleaning up and Promoting the Town Centre will get the headlines.
The main points here are:
“Light up and show off our heritage. Promote the Business Improvement District (BID) and prioritise Vineyard Gate.”
The latter can be taken with a pinch of salt.
Plus don’t forget the Colchester Christmas trees.
Not one but SIX of these will appear around the town centre this December, at a cost of… £40,000.
So that’s almost £6,500 per tree?
Drinking fountains and lighting up Sunny Colch are also part of the plans.
The Heritage Task and Finish group isn’t expected to get any action on this until next summer. Historic England will have a major say.
And then we have:
“An innovative art installation in Sir Isaacs Walk with high level “umbrellas” that are lit. It is planned that these will go up in February.”
A bargain price of £30,000.
Don’t forget that CBC is officially at ‘breaking point.’
The spending on fighting crime covers:
“Use of a specialist external company to undertake enforcement action particularly targeting night time low level ASB. These have started and will continue for six months, targeting two weekends per month.”
Co-operation raises a smile with a pledge to work with Tollgate Village.
It makes a change from mounting a failed legal challenge against the local business.
Funding for community initiatives including support to Age Concern will please Sir Bob of Sunny Colch.
The current spend for the Strategic Plan Spending Priorities leaves £400,000 in the kitty that is ‘ongoing.’
Best spend it before the next set of local elections in May, Comrades.