Sunday, 6 October 2013

My week ahead, 7 - 12 October 2013

Tuesday 8 October, 5pm - Sidgate School Finance meeting
6pm - Culture and Leisure Working Group

Thursday 10 October, 6pm - Area Committee Chairs meeting at Grafton House

Saturday 12 October, 10am - Labour campaigning in South West Ipswich

We are now back into the full flow of meetings with an extra meeting last week as the North East Area Committee hosted a public meeting about the NHS Trust proposals to develop the St Clement's Hospital site into a housing estate. Over 100 residents attended and the Trust, IBC and councillors were able to answer a number of questions from residents. IBC Officers and councillors will now also be aware of the many concerns residents have when the proposal comes to the Planning Committee in November.

The ability to get this meeting arranged quite quickly was yet one more reason why the Area Committees provide a better service to residents than the previous area forums - I am certain that most Tory councillors are also agreed on this but not many are prepared to say that in public as they keep up a display of opposition to the idea of area committees, how much longer they will keep up this futile battle is anyone's guess as there still seems to be little direction or leadership coming from the Tory group.

This week we start a series of working groups where we look at the budgets and spending plans for next year. We have the Culture Working Group on Tuesday evening. these working groups are all party - so councillors can work together to make sure the best decisions are made for residents in what are difficult times as we face yet again a massive cut in our government grant. Previous years we have seen the opposition contribute in the discussions at the Culture Working group but in other working groups the opposition have not even attended.

When the Tories and Lib Dems were in power, the Labour Group were not asked to contribute even though we were the largest group- but we have always wanted contributions from all three groups, but again the Tory response seems not to be inconsistent, with some councillors willing to join in with meaningful discussions whilst others can't even be bothered to attend the meetings.

We will not know for a couple of weeks what the Tory stance is this year.

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