What You Can Get Away With » Meetings

The January meeting of the Castle Ward Neighbourhood Action Panel will take place on January 21st at 2pm in the North Committee Room of the Town Hall.

The NAP exists to “address crime, anti-social behaviour and quality of life issues throughout the Castle Ward” and meets monthly. The members are councillors, police, residents, council officers and others. There’s more information on the Council’s website here, including the up to date Action Plan for the NAP.

If you’ve got issues you want the NAP to consider then please come along and tell us about them – meetings are open to all members of the public. If you can’t make it to the meeting, then please get in touch with me or any of the other councillors, so we can raise your issue for you and get back to you with the results.

If you live in a different ward, there are NAPs for other areas in Colchester, and you can find their details on this page on the Council website.

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I realised that I used to notify people of upcoming Neighbourhood Action Panel (NAP) meetings on the blog, but as I did it through a lot of posts I’d scheduled a long time in advance, I didn’t notice when the pre-arranged posts ran out.

So, this is to let those of you in Castle Ward know that the next meeting of the Castle NAP is taking place next Tuesday (the 30th October) at 9.30am. The NAP exists to “address crime, anti-social behaviour and quality of life issues throughout the Castle Ward” and meets monthly. The members are councillors, police, residents, council officers and others. There’s more information on the Council’s website here, including the up to date Action Plan for the NAP.

If you live in a different ward, there are NAPs for other areas in Colchester, and you can find their details on this page on the Council website.

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Just to let those of you in Colchester know, the next meeting of the Castle Neighbourhood Action Panel will be on Tuesday 26th April, starting at 2pm in the Town Hall.

Any residents can come along and raise issues that they want the NAP to deal with, or if you can’t make it to the meeting, then please leave a comment or email me with your problem and I’ll raise it for you. For more information see the Colchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership website.

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While I’ve spoken at many Council meetings, last night was the first time in my Council career that I proposed a motion to Council which is a wholly different experience. I tried to keep away from politics in my speech and centred it on four main points:

  • Colchester’s historic status as Britain’s first city and it’s importance as part of our Roman heritage. People in Colchester are very proud of our history and heritage and becoming a city would promote that and emphasise it.
  • Colchester’s current status as an important regional centre with a dynamic and creative population, great cultural facilities, a top rank University and an important garrison.
  • Why having a community-led bid is so important. This isn’t about self-aggrandizement by the Council, this is about the people standing up for themselves, and that concept of an informed and active civitas goes right back to the Roman concept of a city.
  • What city status would mean for us: Putting us on the national stage by bidding with the potential for international recognition for Colchester if we’re chosen in 2012, highlighting our importance and potential to tourists and businesses.
  • There was a lengthy debate – one of the longest I’ve known in my time as a Councillor – and some very good points were made by a number of councillors from all sides. In the end, though, the vote was in favour of proceeding with a bid – put together by the community through Destination Colchester, without cost to the Council – by 26 votes to 19. Which means I now have a 100% record in presenting things to full Council.

    Just to let those of you in Colchester know, the next meeting of the Castle Neighbourhood Action Panel will be on Thursday 24th March, starting at 9.30am in the Town Hall.

    Any residents can come along and raise issues that they want the NAP to deal with, or if you can’t make it to the meeting, then please leave a comment or email me with your problem and I’ll raise it for you. For more information see the Colchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership website.

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    Just to let those of you in Colchester know, the next meeting of the Castle Neighbourhood Action Panel will be on Wednesday 23rd February, starting at 5.30pm in the Town Hall.

    Any residents can come along and raise issues that they want the NAP to deal with, or if you can’t make it to the meeting, then please leave a comment or email me with your problem and I’ll raise it for you. For more information see the Colchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership website.

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    Just to let those of you in Colchester know, the next meeting of the Castle Neighbourhood Action Panel will be on Tuesday 25th January, starting at 2pm in the Town Hall.

    Any residents can come along and raise issues that they want the NAP to deal with, or if you can’t make it to the meeting, then please leave a comment or email me with your problem and I’ll raise it for you. For more information see the Colchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership website.

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    Here are the dates for the 2011 meetings of the Castle Neighbourhood Action Panel:

    January – Tuesday 25th at 2:00pm
    February – Wednesday 23rd at 5:30pm
    March – Thursday 24th at 9:30am
    April – Tuesday 26th at 2.00pm
    May- Thursday 26th at 5:30pm
    June – Thursday 23rd at 9.30am
    July – Monday 25th at 2.00pm
    August – Wednesday 24th at 5.30pm
    September – Thursday 22nd at 9.30am
    October – Monday 24th at 2.00pm
    November – Wednesday 23rd at 5.30pm

    All meetings are scheduled to take place in the North Committee Room in the Town Hall.

    The NAP is a forum for any members of the public to bring forward problems in your area, which will then be dealt with by the various agencies represented there (including the Council, Police and residents associations). More details here.

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    Just to let those of you in Colchester know, the next meeting of the Castle Neighbourhood Action Panel will be on Tuesday 23rd November, starting at 9.30am in the Town Hall.

    Any residents can come along and raise issues that they want the NAP to deal with, or if you can’t make it to the meeting, then please leave a comment or email me with your problem and I’ll raise it for you. For more information see the Colchester Crime and Disorder Reduction Partnership website.

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    Two full Council meetings for the price of one last night, as we had to follow the main meeting with a special meeting to decide whether we should stay with our current system of election, where one-third of the Council is up for election every year, or switch to an ‘all-up’ system, where there’d be one election for the whole council every four years.

    My feelings on this have always been clear – I don’t support switching to an all-up election until there’s a change in the electoral system. As it currently stands, we have many wards that elect multiple members (like my own Castle Ward) and that just compounds the iniquities of the first past the post system, allowing a party to get an overall majority on a very small share of the vote, especially if the vote is split many ways and/or localised in one part of the Borough. Electing by thirds isn’t a perfect system, but it means a party has to have consistent support over a period of time to get control, and gives the voters a regular chance to have their say over the direction of the Council.

    To change the system, there needed to be a two-thirds majority of the Council in favour and there wasn’t that level of support – 28 in favour, and 26 against so we carry on with the current system.

    We also briefly discussed whether Colchester should have an elected Mayor, but the main debate on that will be at another special Council meeting that will take place after the December regular Council meeting. I’ve already expressed my views on why I think an elected Mayor is a bad idea but now it’s time for you to have your say on it. The Council’s holding a consultation on whether we should switch to a Mayoral system before that special Council meeting, so you can say which system you’d prefer. So make sure you get along and comment there to have your views heard.

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