We’ve made progress in busy August
NATIONALLY Parliament is on a controversial extended break courtesy of Boris Johnson and the Supreme Court is shortly to decide whether it is legal.
Fortunately the summer break for councillors in Cheltenham was somewhat less high profile although in fact hardly seemed to exist at all.
While the day-to-day operations of the council carry on as normal during the summer, generally no formal council meetings are held in August.
The traditional exception is the planning committee, which has its regular monthly meeting to help ensure planning applications are decided in good time.
This year an extra overview and scrutiny committee meeting was also held in August.
Wth the amount of things the council is currently doing this was needed mainly to keep future agendas to a manageable size.
Arguably the most significant thing the council did in August was spend £37.5 million buying 45 hectares of land in West Cheltenham to help create the Cyber Central development.
Not surprisingly behind the scenes there was a huge amount of work involved in getting the deal over the line on August 22 and to arrange the press launch the following day.
In addition a major piece of work is under way in response to the Climate Emergency which the council recently declared.
We are aiming to bring an action plan to the October 14 council meeting to identify what extra we can do to help tackle climate change. Incidentally this meeting will be the first to be webcast so may be worth a watch!
With Pat Pratley retiring as our chief executive at the end of September, the process of finding her replacement is in full swing. Pat will be a hard act to follow and it’s another decision we need to get right.
The target is to confirm a new appointment at the October council meeting.
So far from being a break, this August has in many ways seemed busier than usual but I’m hoping it’s been worth it in progressing key issues we will all benefit from in future.
Councillor Steve Jordan Leader, Cheltenham Borough Council