I’ve yet to witness the Conservatives putting forward any decent ideas of their own as usually they just pay extortionate amounts of money to consultants to conjure up something they can plaster their names all over. Tonight was no exception with Cllr Mike Wilkinson (Ind) putting forward a motion to put together a working group to look at the feasibility of CCTV across the district. The Conservatives just had to submit an amendment however which adds nothing of value but simply gives them all the decision making and power.

I really had to chuckle when the leader of the council was questioned on the composition of the working group and one of his criteria was that the portfolio holder would select the members based on how qualified they were. Now this strikes me as an odd statement unless members are going to have to submit CV’s. Normally I would have thought it would be better to ask for volunteers for such a group, so this should be interesting!

The group will be led (and I use that term loosely) by a portfolio holder who has already declared that that they weren’t interested in CCTV. So it’s a group akin to leavers and remainers. The question now is will he choose a group full of remainers who have no intention of CCTV ever hitting the councils budget with what could be a huge cost to the council?

Incidentally I voted for the amendment as it was already clear that this was going nowhere without their amendment going through and it’s a ‘foot in the door’ – I don’t think the public gallery were fooled though as a 9 month timetable for CCTV seems somewhat like dragging their heels. It could play out to be longer than Brexit!

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About the author 

James Newport

Essex County Councillor for Rayleigh North, Rochford District Councillor for Downhall & Rawreth and Rayleigh Town Councillor for Sweyne.

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