What is the point of CBC Full Council?
We only ask because after reading the 250 plus pages of the agenda [pdf] for the meeting that will take place on 21 October, we had a definite sense of déjà vu.
Most of the agenda items are made up of Cabinet reports that have now been sent back down for Full Council to head nod through via the whips.
[Yeah, yeah, the Love Me I’m a Liberal lot don’t officially have a whip. But if you vote against the party then you are possibly harming your prospects to land a nice little earner on another Committee…]
And so next Wednesday at the Town Hall will see Full Council being called to assemble, simply to wave through:
“Colchester’s Economic Growth Strategy 2016-21
2014-15 Year End Review of Risk Management
Review of Ethical Governance Policies
Review of Local Code of Corporate Governance.”
We’ve heard it all before.
Nope – WE REALLY HAVE HEARD IT ALL BEFORE.
We totally get the idea of localgov protocol where Full Council is the official route in which policy can be passed.
But we all know that it doesn’t really work out that way.
Decisions aren’t even made as part of the pantomime front that is Cabinet. The policies that will get the head nods on Wednesday will have been put together in closed meetings where minutes aren’t available.
And so why the chuffers do we still attend Full Council when it is now nothing but a farce?
Have Your Say, Motions and Questions to Cabinet Members at least allow a sense of democracy to still be seen to be taking place.
In fact Have Your Say is worth the bus fare into town alone.
It should be a Sunny Colch rites of passage to witness Andy Hamilton showboating about SWINGERS in front of Full Council.
The Q’s to Cabinet Members can also allow some level of accountability to take place. But the questions – and answers – are prepared beforehand. You may as well just tweet out the whole procedure.
A couple of decent Motions have appeared on the Full Council papers for next Wednesday.
CBC Leader Cllr Paul Smith will try and move a motion about the impact on CBC in having to sell housing association stock.
There are some good points in there, but ultimately it is a toothless attempt.
Cllr Smith calls for CBC to:
“Work with other neighbouring authorities and housing associations to oppose the current government proposals.”
“To write to our MP’s asking them to support the Council’s position.”
‘cos that’s going to change central government policy, isn’t it?
Elsewhere and the new era of straight talking, honest politics seems to have reminded Cllr Tim Young that he is the Leader of a Socialist party.
His motion is all about voter registration and encouraging residents around the town to not be caught out by new changes in the electoral process.
Those being encouraged to register might also vote for non-Socialist parties, Comrade…
But that’s all the detail we can offer for Full Council. The main policies have already been decided behind closed doors.
The WEIRD LibLabIndie alliance will carry the policies through.
And so what is the point of CBC Full Council?