I have left it a day to reflect on last nights meeting before Commenting on it. This is not an analysis of the detailed proceedings but a view of the general proceedings.
Looking at the results it can appear as a triumph for the ruling Conservatives, they won the votes on the night with parking charges being increased, defeating all four referrals by the opposition parties, ignoring amendments put forward by members, wining their own motion to ban future referrals to the Council and not even answering the questions put forward by members of the public.
However all the votes were narrower than the Tories would have expected with many of their group not attending the meeting (disappointingly failing to attend so they can say to residents they weren’t there, this is the same as voting for as far as I’m concerned). Also there was the honourable exception of Cllr Jo McPherson who voted against her party’s whip on minimum floor areas.
Members of the public attended with a very good turnout of at least 15 residents from Hullbridge plus many others, and they have now seen how the Conservative majority work. They force a whipped party to vote for policies regardless of the arguments put by the opposition, very few Conservatives speak beyond the Portfolio Holders and even then not all of them are willing to. Most members of the opposition spoke, many of them with passion, giving good presentations that the Council Leader, Cllr Cutmore, had no argument against except bluster.
It is important for members of the public to come to these meetings, it unsettles the Conservatives and Cllr Cutmore does get nervous with a gallery watching him so please continue and keep attending these meetings.
Sometimes the process must seem painfully slow to members of the public, half an hour discussing iPads for instance, but we as opposition Councillors only get a Council meeting 5 times a year where these matters can be brought up so it can seem like disproportionate time is spent on less important subjects but we do not have a say anywhere else but this meeting.