This has been an oddly disjointed week. In 18 years as a councillor I have never been without an office or a telephone for more than a few hours. This last week I have spent without a functioning office, PC or land-line. This has been an unsettling experience but I have been assured that it will all be sorted on Monday. If you are a constituent, or anyone else, who has struggled to get hold of me I do apologise. Hopefully normal service will be resumed shortly!
Thursday saw the second council meeting of this term. There is always an element of phoney war about this part of the political cycle. The first couple of council meetings are about appointments to various committees and posts etc.
It is not good practice to have an administration inspecting itself and it set the scene for a further power grab in the shape of a review of the governance structures. This was kick started with a view to introducing, effectively, the old executive system re-badged. The executive system locked the bulk of councillors out of decision-making and centralised it in the hands of a few Labour councillors. It side lined opposition moving us from policy making by debate, a two way process, to politics conducted by endless briefings, a one way process and much less democratic.
With the Administration enjoying such a large majority I would have thought neutering the opposition was not necessary but they simply can't help themselves. It does suggest a certain lack of confidence on their part.