Monday, 8 October 2012

Wednesday's Agenda....and Pam's RIPA powers

Further to Chief Executive 'blocked' debate - says MP, and as you are probably aware by now, the motion in question fails to appear on the agenda for this Wednesday's council meeting. Possible uncomfortable scenes therefore neatly sidestepped - that is unless Plaid try and drop it in at the meeting as an 'extra item', we'll have to see.....

A far less controversial motion from Plaid has been accepted by the Chief Executive's office. With well publicised concerns over the standards of literacy and numeracy in Wales, it calls for the Welsh Government to incorporate educational ideas from various countries who topped the PISA league tables whilst they review the comprehensive education policy in Wales. It is unlikely to provoke any opposition or controversy.

The Agenda also features the (previously mentioned) and optimistically titled Improvement Report with its assorted colourful pie charts, graphs and stock photos. From the sparse selection of scrutiny meeting minutes which are becoming available it looks like some Members are beginning, slowly, to look beyond the spin. For example; it was pointed out that the 'Citizens' Panel Verdict' graph showed that 82% of respondents were 'satisfied' with Council services, but on closer inspection a mere 15% were 'very' satisfied but 67% were only 'fairly' satisfied - given the big difference in the two levels of satisfaction it was suggested that the document 'painting a misleading picture' by adding them both together.
Further queries were raised as to the 'development' of questionnaires for council consultations, always a source of concern to the rest of, but we can sleep soundly now we know they are authored by the Customer Focus and Policy Division 'based in the Chief Executive's Department'.

I noticed the first Executive Board Member Decision meeting for 'Community and Rural Affairs' was held last week. The agendas for these meetings are never publicised and are presented, along with the minutes as a fait accompli some time later. One of the two deputy Leaders, Cllr Pam Palmer happens to be in charge of this portfolio and considered a report detailing the Authority’s surveillance activity since September 2011, (Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act) together with a revised surveillance policy for the next 12 month period. Pam decided that;

That the authorisations issued under the Act during the last 12 months be deemed as appropriate;
That the revisions to the Authority’s surveillance policy, as set out in the report, be approved and established as the policy for the next 12 month period.

Of course there are no reports published on either. Not even in a redacted, summarised form. So we'll have to take their word for it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the plaid chair will declare an interest as her husband works for Jonathan Edwards?