Monday, October 19, 2020

Year One

At our initial annual council meeting, Bob was confirmed as a member of:

  • Planning South committee
  • Leisure and Culture policy development advisory group (PDAG)
and Mike joined:

  • Planning South committee
  • Licensing committee
  • Overview and Scrutiny committee
  • Environment, Waste, Recycling and Cleansing PDAG

We were thrown in at the deep end with our first 'serious' council meeting which included a well publicised motion regarding the climate emergency (proposed by the LibDems, seconded by Mike - CO/20).  The presence of a large number of SECA members offered moral support but increased stomach butterflies!  As the minutes show, this motion was diluted by a Tory amendment, but nevertheless serves as a reminder to all at HDC.

Further actions during the first year included:

  • pushing the council to go beyond current building regulations in regard to the fabric of new dwellings (CO/35
  • objecting to the council's support of the 'magenta' route for the proposed Arundel by-pass, and seconding a LibDem motion around sustainable transport provision, should a by-pass be built (CO/46)
  • welcoming the council's financial commitments to the Wilder Horsham project and carbon footprinting, including potential support for community groups and parishes (CO/53)
and then the Covid-19 pandemic hit home, with emergency measures to allow remote meetings implemented (by Zoom).

From our Green perspective, this has the distinct advantages of removing the need to travel to Horsham for meetings - a process that highlighted the limited public transport provision (shame on you, Dr Beeching) - but, more importantly, meant that remote public access was now feasible from anywhere, with meetings streamed live on YouTube and available for subsequent scrutiny, (audio recordings have been available for some time).

It is possible for members of the public to speak at meetings (para 4a.19 of the constitution), provided the topic is relevant to the published agenda, and the necessary 2 working days notice is given to democratic services.  

At this point, it's worth highlighting that the easiest way to find out what meetings are going on is to use the online calendar: clicking on a meeting will take you to the published information.    

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