Thursday, May 31, 2007

What's been happening

The inactivity on this blog might suggest that nothing has been happening, but that is not the case. What is the case however is that the processes of the Council are very formalised, and that for anything to happen in terms of a decision of the Council being made the process may easily take 6 months.

A typical timeline might be (I think- let me get through the process myself) that a councillor calls for a report on something at a committee meeting, the officials go away and prepare the report as requested, the report gets presented at the next committee meeting and approved with recommendations for the full council, it goes past P&R and is approved as being within policy and with resources, it goes to the full council. At this stage it will be proposed, and each member has one chance to say something for or against it, having seen the agenda and had the opportunity to post an amendment which should be done in advance of the meeting. The proposer can reply to the amendments. Then there is the vote, and it can be approved, rejected or more likely referred back to committee for further consideration. Then the loop recommences.

So if all goes according to plan, 4-6 months will have elapsed, if it goes back to committee, an year may come and go.

So for us new councillors the challenge is to see what is lurking in the pipeline that we may not necessarily agree with, and see what can be done to influence things for the better, and in line with what we said we would do and what people have asked us to do.

You can be sure that the Kirkwall Traffic Plans and KGS redevelopment have been high on the agenda, and meetings with the relevant directors have taken place, and representations made. On the latter point, Kirkwall councillors have had a tour of KGS that I arranged with Mr Ballantine, and I've pushed to have a Papdale site considered for any rebuilding option (rather than just Picky!). I hope this is now on the agenda, but if you feel strongly about this, please tell me all about it.

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