A little while back I managed to overstep the line a little with my comments on the Cabinet Meetings at Rushcliffe, this resulted in me making a well deserved apology and also having some very productive conversations.
Cabinet meetings have the function of public decision making for the council, and they absolutely perform this task and always have done. What we are also trying to achieve through them is a better understanding of the decision making process at the Borough Council, and this is where councillors on the cabinet, opposition group leaders, and Rushcliffe’s residents can help.
The cabinet members present reports, to outline and explain the choices being made by the council and other cabinet members can comment and further explain. However before this happens opposition group leaders and residents (citizens) can ask questions about the items on the agenda, this can get a direct response but also helps set the level of understanding of the audience and will help cabinet members frame their discussions around this (in a perfect world of course).
This month’s cabinet meeting agenda is jam packed with interesting items and recommendations.
Personally I’m drawn to the last item on the list, which is a 52 page document called Rushcliffe Nature Conservation Strategy 2021-2025, which comes with a recommendation to adopt it, further fund the free tree scheme, introduce wildflower planting, and work with partner organisations to improve biodiversity net gain.
I think we can agree that these are all good things, but do they go far enough, is there everything you’d like to see in that document, how was it put together? These are things that you could ask a citizens question on. To to that you need to email Rushcliffe with your question by 5pm on Thursday! This may not seem like a great deal of time, but it’s actually 24 hours longer than it was last year.
Also on this month’s cabinet agenda is:
Car Parking County Partnership – where the recommendation is to withdraw and employ Borough Council Parking enforcement (Why are we fragmenting the service? Surely there are economies of scale with the Conservative Borough partnering with the Conservative Council… All potential questions (which may be answered in the report)).
Budget Strategy 2021/2022 – where there are several recommendations, including adopting Capital and Investment Strategies, and increasing Council Tax (Any questions yet please?!).
Update on the Crematorium at Stragglethorpe – where there is a recommendation to £2m of funding.
Covid 19 Update – recommendation to note the work.
Electoral Review of Rushcliffe – where there a recommendation to increase the total number of councillors in the borough by two to help cope with a 20% increase in population.
So there are many things on which to ask questions, as an opposition leader we get the same time frame as citizens to read and come up with some intelligent questions! I really hope there’s something that will pique your interest in there enough to ask a citizen’s question. These are rarely asked and we believe that we could gain a better understanding and have more say by asking the right questions at these times!
To find out more about speaking at the Borough Council please check out their website.