I was delighted that the Wales Audit Office recent assessment of the Council singled out the open and transparent culture that we have worked hard to develop in the Council over the past few years although we know that there is still a way to go until all residents of the Vale feel fully able to make their voices heard or influence decisions.
Finding out what’s going on can be a challenge particularly when the media is often full of inaccurate ‘shock-horror’ stories. It’s one of the reasons why I’m so pleased to see the launch of the un-biased and non-political Daily Vale. The Council has its own news section on the website and local councillors are also available to help but there are also a range of meetings and reports where more detail can be found.
It’s a big step forward that people can now participate in a range of Council meetings It is now possible to submit a question to meetings of the Full Council, speak at Scrutiny Committee meetings or about planning applications and Public Rights of Way. While members of the public can attend most meetings they can also watch the deliberations of Planning Committee online. Hopefully meetings of the Full Council will be broadcast in the near future.
Details of all meetings and what they will discuss can be found on the Council website. From there links are available to every report.
On Monday this week we have Cabinet which will mainly be discussing reports on how the Council’s money is being spent, school performance and governors, and proposed no waiting restrictions. The Learning and Culture Scrutiny committee on Monday evening is mainly looking at school finances and performance.
Tuesday’s Corporate Resources and Performance Scrutiny Committee will be discussing finances and performance and on Wednesday the Democratic Services Committee agenda includes ICT, the Council’s recent Corporate Assessment and the draft annual report of the Independent Remuneration Panel for Wales which determines councillors allowances. Representatives of Town and Community Councils across the Vale will be attending Community Liaison Committee in the evening where they will be given updates on the ‘Reshaping services’ programme, the LDP and local Fire Service statistics