Full Council Calling Card

The first Full Council since July will be taking place at the Town Hall this Wednesday. It’s almost as if The Chronic hasn’t missed anything during our 15 month South London sabbatical…

It’s not the most rock ‘n’ roll localgov agenda [pdf] that we have ever come across. We’d wager that it should all be wrapped up in time for the good Cllr’s to catch the second half of the Arsenal match.

But hey – no one ever went into local politics for the kicks.

Did they?

Full Council will be treated to a special presentation on Wednesday evening ahead of the political posturing:

“Council to receive a presentation from the University of Essex Vice-Chancellor, Professor Anthony Forster, on the University’s 50th Anniversary celebrations and its strategic plan and priorities.”

Bring yer own overhead projector, Prof.

Plus:

“There will be an opportunity for Councillors to ask questions at the end of the presentation.”

We are rather hoping that the academic gamekeepers can become poachers. A reverse ferret is needed here (plus probably a few less animal metaphors).

VC Forster should take his time in the Council Chamber to be asking a few questions to the CBC Cllr’s.

How about why haven’t you still been able to build a bicycle path between Wivenhoe and the University, despite the University dishing out £250,000 to specifically fund this almost two years ago?

True to the totally legal back scratching deal, the University wasted no time in putting up the multi-storey car park. It also very kindly handed over a cool quarter of a million pounds towards the cycle path in Section 106 funding.

Essex County Council then banked the money, and then went off on a bonkers quest to try and raise the budget for the project to £750,000, confusing both CBC and the University.

But still – this would be a half decent chance for the good Prof to put the question to the CBC Cllr’s and find out on the record what the chuffers is going on.

We hope that it doesn’t take another half a Century of University achievements until a future VC gets to report on the cycle path progress at Full Council.

And then we are on to the rubber stamping of the decisions already made by the CBC Cabinet. As we have previously blogged (before we unwisely took the archive offline…) Cabinet it where the real power lies at CBC. Or more to the point: the private pre-Cabinet meetings are where the deals are done.

Full Council will see the 60 or so CBC Cllr’s raising their collective hands and agreeing on the decisions already made around the top table.

Which for Wednesday evening involves the agreement to appoint Honorary Aldermen – or even women: Sonia Lewis, Terry Sutton, Colin Sykes and Mary Blandon.

It’s a fine, civic position in which to take up. But any future Honorary Aldermen / women should be warned that they are now expected to fork out the 500 quid or so for their own robe.

We really wish that Primark came to Colchester…

Other pre-made Cabinet decisions include the decision not to review the CBC polling district wards. This is already being done by the… Boundary Commission.

The Year End Review of Risk Management and the Proposal to Establish a Revolving Investment Fund lost our interest after the first sentence.

Cabinet decisions done and dusted, Full Council will then consider the Annual Scrutiny Report.

It’s just gets BETTER, doesn’t it?

Somewhere on the agenda we think (hope?) that there will be Questions for Portfolio Holders. That’s the only reason that we are turning up to be honest. But we can’t seem to find it.

Oh – Have Your Say as well. Always a highlight.

Um, can we record these meetings yet? That nice Mr. Pickles seems to think so.

Heads down, blogging face back on, 10 points for the first Cllr to mention Vineyard and recession in the same sentence.

Betcha the bloody WiFi won’t be working and we’ll be on the first train back to South London.

Hey hoe.