Friday, September 29, 2006
Reflections from a Year on the Council
One year on and I've been trying to reflect on my first 12 months as a Winchester City Councillor.
Bad things first:
- Losing control in May, which didn't affect me too much as a backbencher, but it was frustrating to see years of good work being thrown away.
- Cabinet government and the scrutiny process. Brought in by our current government as a way of improving efficiency. In fact, it seems to me, an ineffective and relatively unaccountable way of running local government.
- The bizarre rules on standards, which seem to mean that the more involved you are in a ward issue the less able you are to take part in council decisions about it.
- Planning. The way in which central government casually dismisses local concerns and overrules decisions by local councils.
- Actually managing to get a few environmental improvements underway, like better foliage management in Badger Farm and some hard standing by the bus stop in Sunnydown Road, Oliver's Battery.
- Working with the two Parish Councils. I have a lot of respect for both PC Chairs and for the, often unrecognised, work they do for our communities.
- Being able to provide help to quite a few people locally.
- Working with the good, experienced Liberal Democrat team on the City Council and with our very hardworking County Councillors.
Well, there we are. A few random thoughts, but no regrets!