29 Oct 2010

Scrutiny meeting terminated

Scrutiny this evening (or rather yesterday) was interesting - at 9pm a councillor called for a postponement of the meeting as it was running an hour late according to schedule and it was already 9pm. Some of us had been there since 6.15pm - and indeed after a days work the brain is not always at it's best....

Photo: Ebley Mill - the District Council's HQ

I fully understand the reasons behind the move to postpone - indeed I have strongly criticised the agendas for being too long and being discussed by too many committees - the same info picked over by different groups of councillors - and officers being there each time - an expense that could be reduced....

Anyhow I voted against the postponement as the rest of the agenda may have been only a further 45 mins and I am also not sure I can make another evening - most nights in the next two weeks are already booked with meetings. However the motion got passed and we all left just after 9pm.

There was also a big discussion afterwards amongst councillors who remained about scrutiny and how to improve it.....work is indeed needed on this! Perhaps this move will lead to the changes we need?

Anyhow you will be able to watch the webcast soon of the meeting but some of the bits that did get covered include...

- Stratford Park Leisure centres report - various issues raised - a couple of points I made - one re clarifying what extra cleaning was being done and the other over environmental targets which I think are basically a bit of waffle and nothing very meaningful. I have emailed some further questions as didn't want to take up time in the meeting.

- the plans for Nailsworth and Wotton Pool joint use sites

- the Housing Improvement Plan which has led to deep and important changes to our Council housing management and more - as the officers said they still have a long way to go but this is a significant step in the right direction - congrats to staff involved - the changes are very much needed - indeed it is quite shocking to see how far Stroud had slipped.

- a report back briefly from my meeting earlier this week with heads of planning and env health plus strategic director to look at progress re the corporate delivery plan and it's climate change targets plus those services targets. We could hit our 10% reduction in CO2 emissions by the end of the year - there measures to get us to the target are introducing Thin Client (something to do with computers using other computers - don't ask me details), a cooling system for the server room and replacing current lighting in the Council Chamber - the latter alone will save an astonishing £2074 per year!!!

There was lots more but that'll do for now - getting back earlier from the meeting has meant I have had the chance to catch up on some of the emails and even make a couple of calls to local residents re planning applications. Time for bed!!

No comments: