"Make a change today to save Wrexham for the future" become a local Councillor

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  • #113337

    Liz Jackson
    Participant

    Now that Welsh Assembly Elections are over – even if they have not decided on the Government- it is time for us to start looking towards the 2017 Local Government elections. There will be 52 seats up — if you are not sure who your elusive Councillor is look at the mug shots
    http://moderngov.wrexham.gov.uk/mgMemberIndex.aspx?FN=ALPHA&VW=LIST&PIC=0&LLL=undefined

    Many of these people are more elusive than the Scarlet Pimpernel or a dodo with many people saying they have no idea who represents them as they are never seen in their community.

    It is time for a change in Wrexham not only Councillors but also the way the Council works – the current system of everything being decided by 10 people on an Executive Board with 42 almost ineffective representatives is a disgrace.

    There are many people on these threads that pose challenges and potential solutions to many of the issues affecting our area- now is your time to think about putting yourself forward to the electorate.

    If you look at the National Assembly nearly 50% of those elected are completely new — lets see the same happen in Wrexham – fresh blood, fresh ideas. Lets start planning to break the ‘old guard’ in Wrexham.

    It’s worth you looking at http://moderngov.wrexham.gov.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1 every week to start getting an idea of what is being discussed and the issues from across the Council.

    There are a few of us coming together to share ideas and learn what a Councillor does– it is worth looking at
    http://www.wlga.gov.uk/download.php?id=5052&l=1

    Our strap line could be “Make a change today to save Wrexham for the future” become a local Councillor

    Would be really interested to hear from anyone with a similar vision.. 888lizjackson@gmail.com

    #113339

    CarolThomas
    Participant

    Thanks Liz there is some very useful information you have shared- looks like you are quite determined to do something- be interesting to see how this develops it really does feel that Wrexham needs a change. We are getting lots of new houses and in danger of people moving in that only see Wrexham as a dormitory place to sleep- we need to make them feel part of a community. A change at the top could help to drive this and make Wrexham a really welcoming community. There is a lot said about welcoming in the Syrian’s (which I welcome) but we don’t do anything to welcome other people who move in.
    Bring on the change 51 weeks to prepare for what could be the change to see Wrexham move into the 2020’s

    #113347

    The Monitor
    Participant

    One of the most Serious things to be changed is the system of organisation and procedure: the so called
    ‘Cabinet Style’ . This is faulty and does not follow the Cabinet Style of organisation and procedure present
    at Central Government in the UK.

    To clarify:
    The present system of procedural organisation used by the Council is as follows:
    * The Executive Board (call them the Cabinet) make decisions on policy and action. Once these are made
    public a request can be made for them to be sent to the Scrutiny Committee (call this ‘the Lords)
    for review. If this request is allowed then …
    * The Scrutiny Committee deliberate on the Policy or Action and then if they are in doubt of the worth and
    sense of the decision, they can send it back to the Executive Board for further condideration. If they
    agree by a majority that the Executive Boards decisions are ok then no further action is taken and the
    decisions are activated.

    AT no time need they be put to a vote of the Whole Council, (call this the Commons), where All councillors
    can vote. This a seriously faulty way of running things and deprives most of the Elected Members of a
    vote and also denies the views of the public to be raised and taking away any influence the general public
    can exercise.

    THIS is not the True Cabinet Style as operates in Central Government where:
    * The Cabinet make policy and action decisions which are then submitted to Lords.
    * The Lords then consider the policy decisions and then either, if they disagree with anything, refer them
    back to the Cabinet for further discussion or negating.
    * The Cabinet then review the original policy decisions and either change and once more they go to the
    Lords for further scrutiny or the Cabinet set them aside.
    * Once the Lords agree the policy decisions arising from the Cabinet.
    they then go before THE WHOLE HOUSE OF COMMONS, allowing all Members of Parliament to vote.
    Voting acceptance or denial. In this way it is possible for ALL members of the public, the Electorate
    to have their views taken into account.

    Wrexham Council should be ashamed of the undemocratic set up of Council procedure at present, denies the
    electorate views to be expressed, and enables the Council policies and actions to be Dictated by 10 people
    the Executive Boards.

    TIME FOR CHANGE.

    #113349

    Liz Jackson
    Participant

    Monitor you are describing how the Executive and the Scrutiny seems to have moved in the past couple of years- nearly 80% of all items going to the Executive Board have never been through Scrutiny- this is meaning that the non Executive Board Council Members are having to ‘call in’ decisions made by the Executive for consideration.
    This is totally undemocratic , time wasting and shows no respect for the electorate who voted for ALL of the Council Members to play their part.
    Hope you are up for considering putting your name in the hat for a future Councillor.

    #113353

    FWarp
    Participant

    The decisions are already made prior to any councillor even seeing proposals. The tail wags the dog in Wrexham. The people at the top, now with the help of PwC, are controlling the narrative, dictating how, and what items are discussed. Its the present system of procedural organisation in WCBC which is a farce and needs changing. Every motion should be ratified by a full Council vote! And this is something the councillors can, and I would urge them to, change.

    And I’m not saying that the people at the top are deliberately doing things wrong, purposely destroying the town, I just feel that bad decisions are being made, hastily, in the current climate of cuts, and people are out of their depth – caught like rabbits in headlights, paralysed by the fear of making the wrong decision. “Quick, we got to make millions of pounds of cuts, I don’t want to cut x from this very noble cause, cut peoples wages, lay people off, I know, we’ll get in PwC who will take an extra 10% of any savings we make for their ‘expertise'”.

    And this is how it will go:
    PwC go in, talk to the staff at the coal face, see where the easy efficiencies can be made, recommend outsourcing for anything else. When the cut targets aren’t met, and PwC have pushed up the amount of money that needs savings (by taking their extra 10%), next recommendation – good old salami slicing time! Bing bang bosh, PwC get the money and can cut and run, councillors take the blame, people at the top have nervous breakdown :)

    The councillors are just fodder in the current climate of cuts and will end up paying with their seats.

    I know quite a few councillors, and most, not all, are really nice people who actually want to make a difference. These are not, in the main, career politicians in the style of Westminster, they are local people from all walks of life. And that is true across the political spectrum in Wrexham, take Neil Rogers (he is a very nice and pleasant man, councillor for the area my family were from, always went out of his way to help them), Alun Jenkins (my fathers teacher – never a bad word said about him), Carol O’Tool (lovely lady), David I Bithell and Andy Williams (both attended my house when I had a fire years ago, helped me when I was in need!), Bill Baldwin (my local councillor, very humorous guy, always helpful and will get my vote), Arfon Jones (I absolutely despise the party he is a member of!!! But he is a really nice guy, always has time for you, and willing to discuss politics in the pub!), and Graham Rogers (anyone who has spent any time with Graham always has a good laugh). Deliberately left out the councillors I don’t have time for, as it would not be fair criticising them when I have the right of anonymity.

    #113421
    Sheefag
    Sheefag
    Participant

    Well done Liz for taking the initiative on this.

    #113433

    The Monitor
    Participant

    Liz Taylor, it would seem we are in total agreement. Thank you for mentioning me as a possible future Councillor, but I know my limitations, unlike certain present council members, and sadly there are also private reasons which I think would impede me. Good luck with your drive for a new Wrexham Council based upon true democratic priciples and procedures. I shall follow your efforts with interest and full support.

    #113435

    MargaretA
    Participant

    This is all very encouraging. However it would be a huge step forward if all eligible to vote took an interest in local council. It is not good enough to say you never see your councillor – the responsibility is as much yours as theirs. Make your councillor accountable. Go to local surgeries held by your councillor – find out their views and make yours known. In reply to FWarp councillors may be nice people, but more importantly how often do they attend meetings, what do they say and how do they vote.

    #113436

    Council Watcher
    Participant

    Fully agree that citizen engagement is vital in the future — with people being elected on 15 – 20%- of their potential electorate in an area is really poor. Anyone elected needs to have links to all their respective citizens in their wards.
    Interesting Margaret mentions Councillor surgeries – only about a third actually do this the same as submitting an annual report on their activities.
    Change is in the wind- lets hope it blows in the right direction.

    #113437

    MargaretA
    Participant

    My mistake – my councillor holds surgeries. I naively thought they all did. Is an annual report mandatory for their position or is it voluntary ?

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