Full Council is an important part of democracy at the council. It is taken very seriously by most members. A lot of officer time is used to service and support the meeting so one would have thought that all members, from all political groups would use the time wisely.
Not so it seems. I’m not sure why the Lib Dems raised four motions all of which were covered elsewhere. Either they were lazy in their research or have nothing else to say – either way it was not a great day for the council. The motions were:
- A motion on Press and PR expenditure which asks for a premature decision on a review that is currently taking place as part of the budget process. They knew the review was underway – what a waste.
- A motion challenging the minutes of the last Full Council meeting when the first thing they did at the start of the meeting was to agree the previous minutes. Worse there was then some attempt to build in more process, involving more officer time, to make up for the fact that they don’t want to check the minutes themselves for accuracy. What a waste.
- A motion asking for online publication of Declarations of Interest – which they could have got just by dropping someone a quick email (which we supported but added the inclusion of CRB checking information). What a waste.
- Yet another motion about Academies which, in short, accused heads of misleading Governors and parents by omitting information. It was yet another attempt by Cllr Downes to get Cambridgeshire to oppose all things academy, basically covering ground that was covered at the last Council Meeting. The motion also showed a remarkable distrust in Nick Clegg’s comments with regard to fairness recently. (We amended this to tone the language down, to recognise the hard work heads and Officers were doing on Academies and to recognise the commitment to fairness in education that Nick Clegg has made).
With all the considerable challenges facing the council how amazing the Lib Dems seem to be putting their efforts into wasteful activities that don’t benefit the electorate one jot.