Thursday, 12 March 2009

Town Council open day

As part of its commitment to engage with the community, Bury St Edmunds Town Council is inviting people to visit its offices at 18 – 19 Guildhall Street at any time between 11 am and 2 pm on Wednesday 25 March. This is to give the town's people and organisations an opportunity to discuss with Councillors and staff not only what the Council does but ways in which you might consider it could improve its services. You are welcome to attend and I am told there will even be drinks and biscuits!


St Edmunds Blogger said...

Rather than spending money on drinks and biscuits, why doesn't the Town Council give that money to Comic relief.

Paul F said...

That's a good question: I must say a was a little surprised at our apparent generosity!

On the other hand if it encourages visitors to find out what the Town Council really does (other than being 'stagnant', 'all but dead' and 'unproductive') it can't be a bad thing.

I'm not sure whether the council has the legal power to give money to charities outside the town. Perhaps someone can comment?

Richard Rout said...

If I recall correctly, the Town Council can not give money to organisations that don’t directly benefit the taxpayers of the town. We have been approached in the past by similar national appeals and have been unable to contribute for this reason.

It must be terribly depressing to be so negative, I’d agree with you were we laying on prawn sandwiches, cheese, pâté, cakes etc. However, if people are visiting you for a prolonged period it is only common courtesy to offer them a cup of tea or coffee. 100 tea bags cost £1.75, 100g of instant coffee £2.89, a 300g biscuit selection £1.85, and 4 pints of milk £1.53. That is a total of £8.02. Even if double that is spent (although I doubt more than 100 cups of tea will be consumed), I think an outlay of £16 on engaging further with the local community will be money well spent.

If it comforts you at all, I will be sure to donate substantially more than £8.02 to Comic Relief.

Paul F said...

Thanks for the clarification Richard - I rather thought so. I like your menu ideas though!

St Edmunds Blogger - negative? Surely not. His/her own site is full of positive comments, constructive criticism and useful ideas for both borough and town councillors - NOT.

St Edmunds Blogger said...

I may be a little negative, but only because the borough is run as a "gentleman’s club" and the town Council is “stagnant and unproductive”.

I think I give a relatively unbiased objective view of local government decisions . Unfortunately Pauls blog acts as nothing more than PR machine for the Borough council.

Has Paul ever disagreed with a council decision?

Paul F said...

Only because I'd like to answer your last question am I prepared to reproduce the whole of your comment, most of which is presumably designed simply to provoke.

(Incidentally, nearly one in three borough councillors is a woman, and all those eleven are Conservatives. The younger councillors are all on the Conservative side too. In contrast the opposition members are all male and most are over 60.)

Since I have been a cabinet member on SEBC any issues I might have had with council policy decisions have been made privately - that's what cabinet government is all about.

However, in my capacity as a ward member for Abbeygate, I fight long and hard for my electorate, always trying to pursue what is in their best interests. There are numerous examples which I won't bore you with, but with which you probably won't be familiar - unless you live in Abbeygate and receive my regular newsletters (not just at election times).

Prior to being in cabinet (before 2006) I disagreed strongly (and vocally) with plans to charge for the town's public lavatories (which happily never materialised) and the introduction of Sunday parking charges. That's just two examples.