It is the Lion which has never roared nor is it ever likely to. Folkestone & Hythe District Council Overview & Scrutiny Committee has made a call out to you the public to help set its agenda in the forthcoming financial year 2019/20 which starts on April 1st.
The Committee’s powers are considerable. It can go on site visits, conduct public surveys, hold public meetings, commission research and do all other things that they reasonably consider necessary to inform their deliberation, within available resources. They may ask witnesses, to attend and address them on any matter under consideration and may pay advisers, assessors and witnesses a reasonable fee and expenses for doing so.
If they were so minded they could ask thethe Head of the Border Force Agency locally and our MP to inform us about what they are doing to prevent the flow of migrants/refugees, to our local shores.
Or they could invite the Head of the Citizens Advice Bureau, the Local Food Bank Representative, the Head of the Rainbow Centre to address the Committee, to discuss issues of local concern and/or answer questions. It may, also wish to hear from residents, stakeholders, and members and officers in other parts of the public sector; and may invite such people to attend.
Now we would like to see P & R given the opportunity to explain why the contract they have had for just under two years is failing? We’d like Deborah Upton Head of East Kent Housing to explain the failings of her organisation too.
Also we’d love to hear from the head of the CAB and with regards to their case load on Housing, Universal Credit and Council Tax for example. And the Head of Disability Information Services Kent about the numbers of people having to go to tribunal to claim disability benefits. Joining that up with the Foodbank Representative to hear how many people claiming various benefits have had to claim food parcels in the last four years. And of course the Head of the Rainbow Centre and Porchlight to hear what they might have to say about the rise of homelessness and sofa surfing in the district.
The Council’s Constitution Part 7.2 paragraph 9.2 states:
Any member of the Council may give written notice, to the Head of Paid Service, that they wish an item to be included on the agenda of the Overview and Scrutiny Committee (the ‘call to action’).
Since the May 2015 election we have never known any opposition Councillor
Cllr Susie Govett
Cllr Mary Lawes
Cllr Frank McKenna
Cllr Ian Meyers
Cllr Len Laws
Cllr Damon Robinson
Cllr Carol Sacre
use this mechanism to raise any matter whatsoever. That is because they more than likely do not know such a mechanism exists. Now what’s the point of being a Cllr if you don’t bother to read, understand and use the Constitution to help and assist you raise matters of importance that affect your ward and your constituents?
The Committee may only have the power to recommend the Council do something, but getting something on the agenda at least gives it the oxygen of publicity and brings it to the attention of the public and media. But four years have passed and not one of our opposition Cllrs have used this mechanism to raise any issues, let alone important ones.
So people, if something matters to you or your community please do write to
and ask for a form and get it back to them by the 22nd March. You never know, what may happen you might become the person/s who turn the Overview & Scrutiny committee into the Committee which roars.
Shepwayvox – Dissent is NOT a Crime