Probably the most interesting thing to be happening in Suffolk County Council this month is the appointment of a new Chief Executive. Details were announced too late to go into this report,but merely announced that the final interviews would take place whis upcoming week. A shortlist has been published in the EADT, but it is speculative, so I’m not passing it on.
Petitions and how they are handled
At the last Full Council meeting (22nd of September) a number of constitution amendments, SCC looked at how the Council was to deal with petitions from members of the public , following disgraceful debacles over Libraries, Explore Cards, etc. The Lib Dems are still pushing for far more clearcut and SMART targeted amendments to the petitions process, to improve democratic accountability and allow the people who sign petitions to have their concerns adequately examined and addressed at long last.
Young People’s travel
The group is examining the difficulties of transport for young people in Suffolk, particularly as a result of the removal of the eXplore card. I am a member of this group, and have asked that the evidence-gathering should be extended to half-term because people were initially asked during the school/college holidays. This means there is still time to give evidence. The on-line survey can be found using the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/transport4yp.
Alternatively, individuals and organisations can send their comments for the attention of the Task and Finish Group on Transport Issues for Young People to Democratic Services, Suffolk County Council, Endeavour House, Russell Road, Ipswich, Suffolk; or by Email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you feel strongly, please do remember to respond.
Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation
This month Cabinet discussedSuffolk’s Prostitution and Sexual Exploitation strategy to reduce off-street prostitution and sexual exploitation across Suffolk. In the briefing I was told that worrying evidence of exploitation was emerging all over Suffolk. I have therefore asked for details of issues and concerns local to Woodbridge and will pass on what information I receive.
Stars of Suffolk
You can now nominate for the Stars of Suffolk Awards 2011. These are a joint venture between the Evening Star and Suffolk County Council, with sponsorship from local businesses and organisations. Categories are:
- Carer of the year
- Courageous Young Person of the Year
- Community Group or Champion of the Year
- Fire Service Person of the Year
- Healthy Lifestyle Champion of the Year
- Hospital/Ambulance Hero/Heroine of the Year
- Outstanding Bravery
- Police Person of the Year
- School Team of the Year
- Search and Rescue Person of the Year
- Social Worker of the Year
- Unsung Hero/Heroine of the Year
- Volunteer of the Year
Nominations for the awards will close on the 28th of October at 5pm, and can be made via http://www.onesuffolk.co.uk/starsofsuffolk
Last Stages of Mobile Library consultation
The deadline for SCC’s Mobile Library Consultation is the 16th of October. The council is consulting on the plans to move from fortnightly to monthly or four-weekly Mobile Library stops and to remove stops in communities that are served by a static library. SCC argues that this would save an estimated £225,000 a year, while maintaining the mobile library service to communities that do not have a static library.http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Consultations/MobileLibraryConsultation.htm
The results of this consultation will be published the Cabinet meeting, 8th of November , where the administration will decide the future structure of Suffolk’s Library Service. This will then be put to Full Council in December. With the current majority, don’t expect an overwhelming vote against. Changes approved will be put in place in April 2012.
SCC’s Budget consultation
This is to remind you again of SCC’s ongoing budget consultation. The Council has announced that it needs to reduce the size of its budget by £50m over the next two years, and wants to know the County’s view before decision are made. ( However, they have already cut £43m from its budget last year, without any sort of consultation.)
The consultation will allow everyone in Suffolk to submit their views on what they feel are the most important parts of the County Council’s budget, as well as make comments about potential future savings that the Council may not have considered yet http://www.suffolk.gov.uk/CouncilAndDemocracy/Consultations/WeAreListening.htm