CBC Cabinet Titbits

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

Rowan House Doesn’t Have the Civic Value of the Town Hall

You don’t say.

We did ask at Reception why the chuffers the first meeting of the CBC Cabinet with no Mandate was taking place in an empty office suite. Something to do with exams at the Town Hall, apparently.

GCSE Coalition of Careerists?

FAIL etc.

The WiFi at Rowan House was non-existent. We did have a LOVELY chat though with a CBC officer on the way in all about bicycles.

Chapeau Sir!

Nice artwork hanging in the Reception as well.

Welcome to the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

LibDem Cllr Smith did the meet ‘n’ greets. We wondered why for a few seconds, and then realised.

Blimey. He’s the bloody Leader.

We’re still waiting for a reasonable explanation as to how the new Leader of CBC got there. He isn’t even the Leader of his own group.

Plus the largest group in the Cabinet with no Mandate has seven fewer Cllr’s than the ‘Opposition.’

Yeah, yeah – numbers etc.

CAREERISTS, more like.

Job’s a good ‘un, natch.

Have Your Say is Still Has Some Life Left In It

We couldn’t clock any other residents sitting on the naughty steps that doubled up as the public gallery in the CBC shared office space.

Instead it was left to a couple of Conservative Cllr’s to… Have Their Say.

Cllr Brian Jarvis of Lexden ward made some half-decent points about the continued delay in the various town centre regeneration projects.

In particular, the stalled Vineyard Gate and AWOL Cultural Quarter came in for a criticism.

New LibDem Cabinet member Cllr Bill Frame of Castle ward was given the short straw to reply:

“People coming into the town want to come to Colchester.”

…as opposed to wanting to go to Tollgate, etc.


It didn’t take Cllr Paul Smith long to get the first political dig in at MP Will Quince, who was otherwise engaged as part of his day job down in Westminster.

Cllr Smith took great delight in misrepresenting the MP for the town, safe in the knowledge that Will Quince couldn’t reply.

So what if he was referring to a quote in a local rag that has since been cleared up as being inaccurate?

We’re sure that Will Quince isn’t too bothered by the second rate jibes by second rate politicians. He’s probably preparing for bigger things to come.

Have Your Say then went into specifics about an alleged child protection issue in the pool at Leisure World.

The police have been called and the matter is being investigated.

That’s all we need to say.

The Community Enabling Strategy is About as Clear as the Colne Valley Mud


Where to start with the bloody Community Enabling Strategy?

With a working definition maybe?

But this is bloody impossible to find. Just TELL IT LIKE IT IS, etc.

We *think* that the Community Enabling Strategy is all about the LibLabIndie Cabinet rather taking a fancy to the Conservative’s Big Society.

It certainly borrows many of the volunteering and DIY ideas that Dave’s failed pipe dream for localgov pitched in with five years ago.

Cllr Annie Feltham led on this one.

We found ourselves testing the patchy Rowan House WiFi to the limit, Googling twaddle phrases such as ‘social linkage’ and ‘social capital.’

What the chuffers does any of this all mean?


Does anyone outside of the Rowan House office suite actually understand or even take any interest in all of this folly?

How will the CBC Community Enabling Strategy change the way that we live and work in Sunny Colch?

£125,000 has been spunked up out of the New Homes Bonus. The ‘ward purse’ [sweetener] for all 60 Cllr’s will be divvied up to spend.

“We want better outcomes”

…claimed Cllr Feltham.

Who for?

CBC? Cllr’s? The Cabinet with no Mandate?

It’s all about the Little People, isn’t it?

It was telling that Tory leader Cllr Dennis Willetts supported the bottom up approach to localgov. Less than one month into the new administration and already they are running with Tory ideas about Localism.

Comrade Cllr Tim Young tried to justify the adoption of a flagship Tory policy by explaining why the locality budget had been cut.

Apparently it was down to central government cuts.

Fancy that.

Cllr Tina Bourne then banged on about “community champions.”

It all felt slightly self-selective. The danger here is that CBC ‘champions’ certain groups with the dosh. Those groups sometimes just happen to be politically aligned with what the Cabinet with no Mandate wants to achieve.

Throwing in a Random Policy Idea Always Livens Things Up

And then from straight outta nowhere [yeah, right] Cllr Paul Smith declared that his new administration has just decided to bid to have part of the weeping window Tower of London display to be put in place at Colchester Castle.


We think?

There was no mention of cost, let alone budgets. Plus time is tight. The application needs to be slapped in by 22nd June.

But wait! What’s this?

It seems that the WIN WIN of a LibLab idea actually came from… the Tories.

Don’t go breaking our heart, etc.

Cllr Beverley Davies apparently first came up with the idea of a bid when the whole poppies roadshow was first announced.

Thanks to some intervention from Will Quince back down in Westminster, and we think that we’re all just about cool with this one now.

Shifting CBC Full Council Meets to the Community Stadium is just BONKERS

The Trading Board Report was then heard by Cabinet. Central to this was how to maximise the ‘relationship’ that CBC has with the Community Stadium.

One idea is to shift the occasional Full Council meeting out to the stadium.

A similar idea was floated three years with firstsite. It’s funny how any location that could do with a bit of love suddenly gets put forward as a possible venue for a bloody Council meeting.

Such a move would come at an extra to cost to CBC (and Council Tax payers.) Meanwhile a truly STUNNING Town Hall chamber right in the centre of the town would no doubt lay idle for the evening.

Any Agenda Item with ‘Trading Board’ in the Title is Bound to Become Politicised

You don’t say.

Tory Cllr Willetts saw the item as the launchpad for his vision of a free market Commissioning Council.

The LibLab lot were quick to take a huge step back and point out that the private arm of CBC is all about making money for the Council, and not shareholders.


Glad we’ve cleared that one up, Comrades.

As ever, don’t forget the Little People.

Cabinet is all About Admin

Some box ticking then took place. Members training policy, and something else, plus another bland agenda item that is probably important but it was pushed through at a blink and you’ll miss it pace.

Hey hoe.



Same as it ever was. Same as it ever was.

For the next twelve months, anyway.