Thursday, 25 June 2009

Council business report

Today the 58 members of the full council met for their monthly meeting - which was the last before the July recess. It was not expected to be a lengthy or controversial meeting but it did result in a first. Council voted to suspend Cllr Andrew Burns, leader of the Labour Group, for accusing the Council Leader Jenny Dawe of being 'untruthful' in one of her replies and declining to withdraw the accusation. It all concerned the restructuring of Council companies and whether correct procedures had been properly followed at Board Meetings of two of the Council companies. The suspension of Cllr Burns was a first of a councillor that anyone present could recall.

More personal today is a list in the Evening News showing a table of councillors' attendance at the main committees. Alas the Evening News made something of a mistake in placing me third bottom of the list. First of all their figures were inaccurate. One of their miscalculations showed me as attending 62 meetings of the Planning Development Sub-committee. Actually I have attended 73 out of a possible 87 in the past two years. In addition, I have attended rather more meetings than those councillors at and near the top of the Evening News list - as I am involved in more committees than many other councillors. The table showed percentage figures - which didn't indicate that I attended more than twice as many meetings as the person the paper put at the top. It should also be remembered that there are more committees and also council business than those surveyed. For the record here is the corrected list of my attendances (with total possible attendances):
Economic Development: 10 (10)
Finance 9 (10)
Neighbourhood Partnership 6 (10)
Full Council 26 (27)
Planning 17 (21)
Planning Development Sub-Committee 73 (87)
Pensions 7 (7)
That works out at 147 out of a possible 172. That is 86% and many of those missed were because I was elsewhere on other council business or meetings.

I just thought I would set the record straight.

But then effectiveness does not correlate directly with attendance either! I have sent a correction to the Evening News. We shall see if they publish!

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