I have higher hopes for the new Tory administration under Peter Nutting than his predecessors, Malcolm Pate and Keith Barrow. But he is starting on the wrong foot by ordering a special council meeting with nothing of importance on the agenda.
Seventy-four councillors and dozens of officers will be involved in a meeting next Thursday in Shirehall. What will this meeting achieve? Pretty much nothing.
I don’t know how much a full council meeting costs but this meeting is not worth a brass farthing. The agenda is so thin it wouldn’t make a decent slice of toast.
The council meeting will begin at 10am in Shirehall with routine business. This will include the chairman tabling a list of those who have been met and greeted since the last council meeting.
These will be followed by public questions. These are important but not quite a reason for a full council meeting.
Next on the agenda are questions from members. The only member’s question is from me. That will have to go back to a future council meeting in any case to get the answer we need.
At this point in the meeting, the public and press will be thrown out. This is to allow councillors to discuss the council’s future actions on the Shrewsbury Pitch and Putt Golf Course. I am not allowed to tell you what this paper is about but there has been extensive media reporting of the background. Another item discussed in secret session will be student accommodation at The Tannery, again in Shrewsbury. Again, I am not allowed to tell you what this about.
That’s it. There are no policy matters for councillors to discuss.
Avid followers of council business, if there any out there, will have already have noted that the next meeting of Shropshire Council will be on 20 July. I see nothing on the agenda this coming Thursday that will not wait a month.
I find the way it is run at times appalling. We should use scarce council resources wisely. This meeting should be cancelled. The money should instead be invested in the services this county desperately needs.