Friday, September 16, 2005

Back to back meetings

The first two weeks of September have involved almost every evening with some form of meeting, as well as a handful of day time events, so not much time to blog ATM.
Last week we looked at the draft of the Electoral Matters scrutiny report. I got dropped into this at quite a late stage, but have been able to quickly engage with the scrutiny - started off after the postal vote fraud in Aston/Bordesley Green in June 2004, then suspended while the election court considered the matter. Reconvened after the court judgement, but altered focus to look at election administration in the city. I obviously fitted in quite well to this review as I was barely present for my second meeting before being accused of being an elections geek. So finally recognised after organising my first Student Union election 10 years ago. (R.I.P. UMIST Students' Union).
Full Council was held this week, with a change to the structure of the meeting.
Not sure all aspects of it worked. The "Issues of the Day", weren't all necessarily truely issues of the day, but spun to make it 30mins of soapbox politics. And instead of being a debate, with only one speech in response, it was generally given to the relevant cabinet member. How the order of the Issues is determined, or how Issues are rejected if too many to fit in the 30mins is hazy.
Labour took the chance to throw out a Lib Dem motion of support for Ken Livingston. It really related to Standards, and Standards board issues. Why was it that no elected members from BCC were at the recent conference (held in the ICC) on Standards issues?
The restructuring of the meeting also had the effect that the tasty "political bits" occured right at the end of the meeting, hours after the press had called it a day and gone to right their copy/go to the pub.

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