The District Council has its Annual Meeting next Tuesday evening. This is where the councillors sort out who gets each chairmanship, and there will be a few nice speeches thanking last years chairman of the Council , Mavis Webster, and welcoming the new members of the council, Robin Allen, Lucy Cox and Jackie Dillnutt
However, there’s going to be a new ‘cabinet’ structure for the council from now on. So things are going to be a little different.
To begin with, the Conservatives will be taking all 9 places in the cabinet. (However you can bet that we will be sending an observer to each meeting, to keep an eye on what’s going on)
There is also the Review Committee. This reviews the council’s performance and scrutinises its activities. The Conservatives have changed the rules on this committee so that the chairman has to be someone from the minority party (that’s the Lib Dems!) This is jolly decent of them , and helps to make the council function openly and fairly. We take the Review Committee very seriously , and we will be nominating a good Lib Dem to be chairman.
There’s also the Development Control Committee – the one that decides plannning applications. Conservative Councillor Simon Smith chaired it last year – will he be chosen again this year?
But the most interesting decisions will be for the election of chairman for the new area committees. There are going to be three area committees – one for the west of the district, one for the middle and one for the western part. We don’t know yet how useful they are going to be. However the interesting thing is that the chairmanships are not going to be decided on a show of hands – they are going to be decided by a secret ballot of councillors.
There are two or three Tories running for the chair of the West Committee (which is for Rayleigh and Rawreth).. 16 councillors will have votes – 11 Tories and 5 Lib Dems. The Lib Dem councillors are starting to get phone calls from the different candidates’ supporters , asking for our votes…