It has been my long held view that it is now time for council meetings streamed on the Internet. With the sparse attendance at council meetings, it may open up democracy locally to a new audience. I also believe it will aide accountability of members.
There is a view held by some that all politicians, whatever their political persuasion, will say one thing to get elected and then do another. There is a growing trend from my observations since first becoming councillor that some say and support one thing inside the corridors and committee rooms of the Civic Centre but then tell residents the exact opposite in their communications. A classic example of this is highlighted in a post on Cllr Holdcroft's blog yesterday over Cllr Chalk's actions on the proposal to re-install beach huts at East Beach were they had been previously located in the fifties and sixties.
It is also unfortunate that the issue of beach huts isn't the only issue that Cllr Chalk is less than transparent over. During the budget setting process, Cllr Chalk had the opportunity to propose the withdrawal of the CCTV Vehicle but chose not to and supported the Conservative administration budget warts and all. Just last month, Cllr Chalk showed 'supposed outrage' and claimed that the CCTV Vehicle wasn't confirming to Government guidance and said that she didn't want the CCTV Vehicle anywhere near Shoeburyness.
Yesterday to my great surprise, in my inbox was a request from Cllr Chalk for the CCTV Vehicle to patrol East Beach for noise nuisance, even though she is well aware that the CCTV Vehicle can only enforce traffic and parking offences in areas where enforcement is difficult, sensitive or not practical by traffic wardens! You could not make it. If anybody has any reason to doubt, I am happy to forward a copy on request if they email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.