One in three is better than none I suppose…

Only one in three of your Blenheim Park Councillors voted to open up democracy and broadcast council meetings at last night’s meeting of the full council. I, along with several of my cabinet colleagues, were happy to join Cllr Longley in calling for a “named vote” (where every councillor is asked individually how they vote and it is recorded in the minutes who voted which way), so there is a permanent record of how the three of your councillors voted.

Fortunately 27 (the huge majority of which were Conservative, with some honourable mentions to the Leader of the Labour Group and an Independent or two) councillors voted in favour (17 against), so from the new council year (May) you will be able to tune in and watch meetings from the comfort of your arm (or computer!) chair.

Some councillors who speak absolute rubbish (last night I was asked about my Education portfolio, whether a freezer left in Belfairs Woods was to blame for the snow that fell in Southend last week! I must admit I was a little flustered at the question, which has to go down as the most barmy question I’ve ever been asked), must be “bricking it”. Good. It is about time the public were able to see their councillors at work. We, me included, can’t all be Churchillian in our speechmaking and that’s not all what being a local councillor is about. However we can speak the truth and be held accountable for what we say.

I’m off to have my nose powdered for the start of my TV career…. 🙂



About jamescourtenay

Local Southend resident, since before I can remember. I am hoping to represent the residents of Blenheim Park Ward after the May 2011 Local Elections. Straight Talking? - Yes. Approachable? - Yes. Accountable? - Yes. See my blog to find out how!
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3 Responses to One in three is better than none I suppose…

  1. Cllr Courtenay, you are being deliberately abstruse here. Voting against this motion (as I did too) does not mean one is opposed to the idea on principle, only that one believes the spend inappropriate at a time when we are being forced to make deep cuts elsewhere.

    • A vote for meant cameras in the chamber opening up democracy.

      A vote against meant no cameras in the chamber, making it more difficult to the public to see what is going on.

      £20,000 is not an insignificant amount of money in some ways, but it is also a very small amount, particularly as it is capital expenditure.

      It is a shame you didn’t speak to try and persuade others of your view….

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