Tonight’s July Council meeting – how to watch & what to expect

Town Hall
Cllr Mark Elliott at the Town Hall

Please note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Last month I tried to get back into the habit of using my blog to shed some light on Full Council meetings at the Town Hall, for those interested! My blog post in advance of the June Full Council received an unexpected mention in the meeting, as it turns out my one-time Labour opposite number Cllr John Fahy is a voracious reader!  I’m not sure he liked what he read.

Cllr Fahy aside, the post got a fair few views and a positive reception, so I will try to continue in advance of Full Council meetings from now on.

Firstly, you can watch the meeting online here – on which, more later – and you can find the agenda here. Continue reading Tonight’s July Council meeting – how to watch & what to expect

Taking Southeastern to task at the Town Hall

Southeastern meetingPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

On Thursday I had the opportunity to ask some searching questions of Southeastern, as well as Network Rail and Transport for London, at a bumper councillors’ scrutiny meeting at Woolwich Town Hall.

Thanks in large part to lobbying from my colleague Cllr Matt Clare, the Conservative Transport Spokesperson in the Royal Borough, this meeting was arranged to enable councillors to hold Southeastern, in particular, to account over measures to improve the atrocious service local commuters receive. I’ve detailed the results of our questioning below. Continue reading Taking Southeastern to task at the Town Hall

Living Wage Incentive Scheme becomes council policy

Matt reading survey returns - for FbPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

This post first appeared on greenwich.co.uk here.

After four years involved in local goings-on in Greenwich, I have learned that we live in a borough with a particularly frustrating political culture.  With three Labour MPs, 43 Labour councillors and only eight Conservatives on the council, as a member of the opposition, it can sometimes feel like an uphill struggle to get things done.  All eight of us on the Conservative benches have a solid track record of local achievements in our wards – but when it comes to the council chamber, I don’t mind admitting that the Labour Party’s huge majority can make the going tough. Continue reading Living Wage Incentive Scheme becomes council policy

Securing action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

Fixed Odds Betting TerminalPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

I am very pleased to report that my amendment on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals, which sought to toughen the council’s stance against their spread and improve its own signposting to gambling charities, was passed at last night’s council meeting.  This was a rarity – an occasion where we were able to put party politics to one side and agree what is absolutely needed on this issue, which is a united front from both sides of the council chamber.

It came at the end of a long council meeting which I’ve given a whistle-stop tour below. Continue reading Securing action on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals

So what’s Scrutiny all about?

Woolwich Town HallPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

As I have blogged previously, I rashly made a promise to myself after the election to use this blog after significant council meetings to help open up, in some small way, the workings of our local democracy to more public scrutiny. Scrutiny is in fact the theme of this update, after a week in which I have dipped my toes in the waters of a (to me) new, under-reported yet important side of council business… Continue reading So what’s Scrutiny all about?

Greenwich Time remains – but its day is nearly done

gt_frontPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Before going into last night’s full council meeting – the first since the election and the first under the new Leader of the Council, Cllr Denise Hyland – I said that it was time to see if anything really had changed at Woolwich Town Hall.  The answer is an unsurprising no – below are my first thoughts after the meeting, blogged at speed (so please forgive any typos).  If any reader is only interested in the question of Greenwich Time, the main event last night, skip to about half way down!  Continue reading Greenwich Time remains – but its day is nearly done

First council meeting – blink and you’d have missed it

Woolwich Town HallPlease note this post is from my previous blog. To read my posts during the 2017 General Election campaign click here.

Last night was the council’s Annual Meeting, and my first as a councillor for Coldharbour & New Eltham and now (as of about 7.10pm last night…) Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Royal Borough of Greenwich.  One of the many services local bloggers – I’m looking at you Darryl – have provided in recent years is helping open up council meetings to the public, in the face of the Labour administration’s point-blank refusal, thus far, to introduce the live-streaming of meetings that some of us would like to see. Continue reading First council meeting – blink and you’d have missed it