And so the final CBC Full Council before Christmas takes place at the Town Hall on Thursday evening.
Christmas is coming and CBC is getting fat – well, there is the small (ish) issue of a gain of £631,000 in the CBC festive coffers to discuss later down the agenda [pdf].
But before that we are hopeful of something of a Have Your Say Christmas cracker.
We confess that these haven’t quite been as billed of late. Andy Hamilton appears to be preferring his NO SEX protest strategy outside the Town Hall, rather than within.
In, out, shake it all about etc, fella.
Not so shit is the Question submitted by Conservative Cllr Sue Lissimore to Labour’s Cllr Tina Bourne.
The Portfolio Holder for Housing and Public Protection will be expected to answer:
“The issue of dog fouling continues to be a serious problem within the Colchester Borough. There are still some dog walkers who do not clear up after their animals and occasionally an animal may be ill whilst on its walk. How quickly do you feel that residents should expect a bad issue of dog fouling in a busy, public place to be cleared up?”
Expect other Q’s to follow, once any opposition Cllr’s (who actually have the largest party majority…) find the time to read the almost 500+ page report and are able to pick out any relevant items.
And then we hit the head nodding part of Full Council.
Procedure is dull, but democracy has to be at least seen to take place.
The Recommendations of the Cabinet, Panels and Committees will need to be nodded through.
We have been here before, with an extreme case of CBC deja vu.
A Motion has then been submitted by Cllr Dennis Willetts, the Conservative Leader of CBC.
Basically it looks at the central funding for local authorities:
“This Council welcomes the announcement by the Chancellor of the Exchequer to allow, by the end of this Parliament, local government to retain 100 per cent of local taxes, including all the revenue from business rates.”
This has been butchered by Labour’s Cllr Dave Harriss. It’s another example of the political tit-for-tat that makes CBC Full Council so crap.
One side – and it is always a ‘side’– tries to at least achieve something, before the poxy politics gets in the way.
Motions are meaningless when re-written in a red crayon for political purposes.
Plus it comes down to the numbers, stooopid.
How very convenient that the Cabinet with no Mandate will no doubt be able to carry through the amendment thanks to the coalition of convenience.
It gets a little more serious with:
Authorisation of Absence from Council and Committee meetings
This is a personal issue which calls on Full Council to grant Cllr Nigel Offen of Shrub End ward an extended grace of absence, following a recent health issue.
We wish him well.
Full Council will then be back on the money with:
2016/17 Revenue Budget, Fees and Charges, Capital Programme and Financial Reserves
This is basically a budget update, with the £631,000 gain against the current budget being allocated elsewhere.
The headline HONK! is the one off £100,000 payment to Firstsite. There are many other worthy local causes that can also been found within the Council report if you dig a little deeper.
The suggestion to fund the Colchester Comedy Festival and the Colchester Free Festival a further £10,000 each is to be welcomed.
Oh – and there’s the small matter of the hint that CBC will freeze Council Tax once again.
The Local Council Tax Support 2016/17 then has two main updates to consider:
“Limit backdating of working age Local Council Tax Support applications to four weeks.”
“Increase applicable non dependant deductions from £11 to £12.”
Expect bloody “benefit tourism” [sic] to feature, should Cllr Willetts be given the opportunity to speak.
With an end hopefully in sight, CBC will then race through:
Officer Pay Policy Statement for 2016/17
Review of the Statement of Licensing Policy and
Draft Statement of Gambling Policy
And if anyone is still flagging and in need of a light sherry down the road at Liquid Colchester, the Polling Districts and Polling Places Review should put you in the CBC party mood.
It’s a slight tinkering of where the ballot boxes will be for some in the borough ahead of the ‘all out’ elections in May 2016.
Vote turkey, get turkey etc.