Last Evening’s Cabinet

The second meeting of the Executive Board (the District Council’s ‘Cabinet’) met last night.

All the 9 Conservative cabinet members were there , with 3 people watching from the public gallery – Lib Dems Councillors Chris Black and Jackie Dillnutt, and a member of the public connected with a local taxi firm. It was a fairly businesslike meeting, lasting 90 minutes. Peter Webster took the most prominent part, asking lots of questions about the Council’s revenues and benefits department. John Pullen was the only councillor not to speak during the meeting.

These were some of the items that came up:

  • The council are arranging for an aerial survey this year of the district, so that residents can acquire photos of their homes and neighbourhood via a link on the council website.
  • Taxi fares are going to increase by 20p , probably from September 3rd. So the minimum fare goes up from ?2.40 to ?2.60; a 2-mile trip goes up from ?4.60 to ?4.80. The night-time, Sundays and Bank Holiday surcharge goes up from ?1.60 to ?2.00. The council plans to review charges again in 18 months.
  • The council are also banning taxis and private hire vehicles from having dark tinted glass windows – with exemptions for stretch limos and “high-class executive” vehicles.
  • The cabinet agreed a new timetable of meetings – so that it will meet on Wednesday evenings at 7.30 rather than moving to afternoons. So all credit here to the Conservatives – they have listened to people like ourselves who were against afternoon meetings and avoided afternoon meetings. (It is still possible though that there could still be exceptional afternoon meetings in special circumstances)
  • Well, for the first 30 or so years of the council, any councillor could come along to the appropriate meeting and ask a question about taxi fares. In fact it’s the kind of issue that new councillors might cut their teeth on – easy to understand, and one that some of the public are interested in.

    And now we have a system where only the 9 cabinet members can debate it at a council meeting. It’s not exactly an improvement, is it?

  • Chris, Sounds a like a meeting to divert attention from the real issues. It is obviously important to the cabbies who depend on their fares but to take up most of the meeting……….
    The Echo is slipping a bit the letter today was sent some time ago and it was also butchered somewhat and the spelling errors were not mine but the sentiment remains, just why did Mavis Webster mislead us by saying we in Rayleigh would take 1,800 houses out of 4,600 while in reality we are taking 1,800 out of 3,700. I did ask for an answer but just like all the other points that I requested an answer to I suppose Mavis Webster will say she never saw the letter!! She must read the paper though because she did reply to your letter Chris. I just hope enough people made their views known during the consultation period. If the council really had the people at heart they would extend the period by a few weeks and make sure everyone knew what was going on and how they could make their views known but………….

  • Mike, just for clarity, the taxi items weren’t the bulk of the business, there was a lot of other stuff. But I try to mention what is either important or interesting – or both.

    If you are thinking about the housing allocations, the latest info I’m getting is that there won’t be any meeting to discuss it before September. That’s because the council won’t be able to analyse the results of the consultation before the start of the summer recess.

    One thing to look out for in the next few days is Rayleigh Town Council’s own response to the consultation – that’s been prepared by our very own Ron Oatham.