Sunday, 17 March 2013

My week ahead 18 - 23 March 2013

Monday 18 March, 4pm – Culture Portfolio meeting
6pm - Labour Group meeting

Tuesday 19 March, 6pm – East Area Housing panel

Thursday 21 March, 7pm – North East Ipswich Area Committee, St John’s Church, Cauldwell Hall Road

Friday 22 March, 7pm – School quiz, St Helen’s Primary School

Saturday 23 March, 10.30am – Labour campaigning, South West Ipswich

With no Full Council this week the highlight will be the next North East Area committee meeting, we have had some success in getting things done for residents but I hope over the next 12 months we can focus on our North East Action plan and work towards achieving some positive outcomes for our three main priorities.

To achieve this it will require all nine councillors from the area, IBC Officers and residents working together, my concern is that some of the Tory councillors still wish the Area Committees to fail or just see them as a means of moving council money to their own pet projects.

This week at Scrutiny we looked at Area Committee’s, and from the start we could see that at least one member of the Tory group was more interested in scoring political points, in a leak to Ipswich Spy from the Tory Group they indicated that they were not happy that some of the Area Committee Chairs were on the Scrutiny committee, they also indicated that the chairs were refusing to stand down from the committee, if the Tory Group are going to leak information to Ipswich Spy they should leak the truth. The Tories had not mentioned that they were unhappy about myself and two of my colleagues sitting on Scrutiny, they did not actually mention it till the start of the meeting. Fortunately we had already approached the Legal Officers at the council and were told that we were able to sit on Scrutiny.

Questions for the Tory Group:

1. Why did they not ask the legal officers at the council about the issue before the meeting?
2. Why did they not raise the matter at the Scrutiny Steering meeting? – This may have been difficult as no opposition councillors turned up for steering- and the Tory member on steering is the Tory Group leader!

Area Committees are here to stay and if all councillors’ work together we can see achieve positive results in our own wards – let’s hope the Tories come to the meeting on Thursday with an attitude of getting things done for their residents rather than attempting to score cheap political points.

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