Ever wondered what a Borough Councillor's role entails?

Ever wondered what a Borough Councillor's role entails?
I did! I was elected as a Councillor for the Lynn South & West ward of the Borough Council of King's Lynn & West Norfolk on 5th May 2011.

A little bit about me:
I have lived in South Lynn for 7 years with my wife and work locally for the Norfolk Primary Care Trust as an IT Manager.

I am a Labour Councillor and whilst the local Labour group made some encouraging gains in the May elections (moving from 4 councillors to 13) we are still very much a minority opposition as the Tories hold 42 of the 64 council seats.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Great Local Election Swindle?

After an election in which all parties seemed to be in agreement that the proposed incinerator development at Saddlebow the first cracks in the Tory administration's commitment to opposition began to appear on Thursday after they were given the opportunity to re-affirm their opposition to the proposal and took the option to discuss the matter further at Cabinet level.

The opportunity came in the form of a motion put forward by Labour Councillor Charles Joyce at Thursday's Full Council Meeting:

"This Council welcomes its predecessor's decision to oppose an incinerator. This Council wishes to reaffirm its opposition to an incinerator."

Surely, there is nothing contentious in this motion to require a period of reflection and discussion at cabinet level? In itself, it does not even mention the location of the incinerator - the subject of some contention at the pre-election council meeting where another Labour Councillor, Margaret Wilkinson suggested an amendment  to the Council's opposition to "the construction of a Municipal Mass Burn Incinerator at Saddlebow, King’s Lynn." by expanding this to the whole of West Norfolk.

It struck me before the election that the previous Tory administration, which enjoyed a far larger majority than it does now, seemingly hopped on the anti-incinerator sentiment as soon as the results of the referendum were published but I never thought for one moment that they would begin to let their true colours shine through so soon after the elections (elections in which they fared better than should have been expected, particularly with some of the 'Twin-hatters' who failed to show at County Council meetings discussing the incinerator managing to keep their seats) and at a time when the planning application is out for public consultation.

Only time will tell whether the Tory Cabinet will eventually agree with the motion being put forward by the Labour Group; its just a shame that if their pre-election stance on the incinerator is not carried forward, the electorate will have to wait a further 4 years to let them know what they think. If the Tories believe the people can forget their election promises after just 2 months, they will surely be confident that it will be no problem after 4 years.

Note: I was not able to attend this Full Council Meeting because of a long-standing pre-election commitment. 

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