‘What do the coun­cil mem­bers ac­tu­ally do?’

Leek Post & Times - - LETTERS TO THE EDITOR -

CAN some­one please tell me why we in Leek need the Town Coun­cil we have, with as many as 12 peo­ple elected to it and as much as £62,000 spent on staffing and of­fice costs? It’s only re­ally a par­ish coun­cil, af­ter all.

It’s hard to see what those elected folk ac­tu­ally do: the Town Coun­cil’s web­site is sin­gu­larly lack­ing in de­tail.

Min­utes of the pe­ri­odic meet­ings are par­tic­u­larly scarce: the last Coun­cil min­utes date from last May, 7 months ago; the lat­est Plan­ning Com­mit­tee min­utes we are al­lowed to see are from last March though there is – note this – a re­port dated April 2011 still la­belled “hot” about the then-pro­posed Town Cen­tre High­way Im­prove­ments, the abo­li­tion of the round­about. Can that still be a mat­ter of re­cent or ur­gent news?

Those 12 mem­bers are elected for four-year terms and seem to go on for ever and ever.

I’ve never been asked by any of them whether I’m happy with the way it over­sees the town’s al­lot­ments, our war memo­ri­als, the Christ­mas lights, town cen­tre events.

What do these 12 ac­tu­ally do all the time? At­tend meet­ings, by all ac­counts, when they aren’t, many of them, at SMDC or County Coun­cil meet­ings, since many sit on all three.

Yes, there is an agenda for the Novem­ber meet­ing, last month.

It con­tains the fol­low­ing items Apolo­gies; the re­ceipt of min­utes from the pre­vi­ous coun­cil meet­ing and two com­mit­tees, and “Mayor’s cor­re­spon­dence/an­nounce­ments/ re­port”.

The agenda tells the reader that these min­utes are at­tached: not on the web­site they aren’t.

And the edi­tion of the Post & Times on De­cem­ber 20 printed a ‘news­let­ter’ from the Town Mayor.

I was glad to read that he is hav­ing a busy year. But what is he ac­tu­ally do­ing? From what he said, at­tend­ing other peo­ple’s events. That’s not much of a task for a grown man!

All this just makes me won­der what these 12 mem­bers and their of­fice staff do. I won­der if there isn’t a bet­ter way of de­liv­er­ing and over­see­ing the tasks the Town Coun­cil has taken to it­self. I also won­der when one of the coun­cil­lors might knock on my door and ask for my opin­ion on any­thing rel­e­vant, let alone tell me why I should vote for them.

I look for­ward to read­ing their re­sponse. Peter Ab­bitt Leek

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