Council Budget

Thursday 5th February is one of the most important dates in the Council’s diary when Council will be approving a budget for 2015/16. This will be the second year of a challenging four year plan to achieve savings of around £92m by 2018 whilst transforming services. The debate will take place at Shire Hall, Warwick from 10.00am and the web stream will be available for viewing at   http://www.ustream.tv/channel/full-council

County Council Meeting – Thursday, 21st March 2013

Councillors will have plenty to talk about at Council on 21st March.

Councillors will have plenty to talk about at the Council meeting on 21st March.

On Thursday, 21st March we’ve got a County Council meeting, which will be held at Shire Hall, Warwick from 10am.  This will be the last full Council meeting of our Council’s four-year term, ahead of the elections in May (more on this soon).

We’ve got a pretty full agenda for the meeting. Amongst other things, we’ll be talking through the following:

  • Councillors will be looking at a report on the Warwickshire Fire and Rescue Service, including some of the risks and challenges it will face in the coming years, and some of the work the Service will be doing to overcome these challenges
  • Councillors will be setting up the Warwickshire Health and Wellbeing Board, which comes about as a result of central government changes to the NHS, which will take effect on 1st April this year
  • Three of our Cabinet Members (who have special responsibility for certain council services) will be updating everyone on the key issues within their portfolios:

Councillor Richard Hobbs will talk through Community Safety issues,

Councillor Heather Timms will focus on Children and Schools

And Councillor Izzi Seccombe will talk through some of the changes in Adult Social Care

You can find the agenda for the meeting and all of the supporting documents on the County Council website.

As with all of the big meetings here at Shire Hall, full Council is open to the public, and we’d encourage residents to attend.

If you’ve got any questions, or would like to know more about Council meetings or how to get involved in local democracy, drop me a line at martynharris@warwickshire.gov.uk or comment below.

Council Budget Setting 2013/14

Photo: Alamy

The County Council will be meeting this Tuesday 5th February to debate the Council’s Budget and Council Tax for 2013/14.

The whole meeting is open to the public, and will start at 10.00am at Shire Hall, Warwick. Why not come along and see some democracy in action?

The proposed budget and papers for the meeting can be found here:

Council Meeting Papers – 5th February 

All Councillors will be debating their proposals for spending in the coming year, including their priorities for services, and setting the level of Council tax for the coming year.

You can find out more about the process the Council goes through to set the budget and how the Council spends its money here: http://www.warwickshire.gov.uk/budget

For more information, or if you have any questions, contact me at martynharris@warwickshire.gov.uk or comment below!

County Council Meeting – 10th July 2012

In here, 10am, Tuesday.

It’s that time again – we have a County Council meeting next Tuesday, 10th July. The meeting will start at 10.00am, and will be held at Shire Hall, Warwick.

Council is a really interesting meeting;  it’s the only forum where all 62 of our Councillors meet, where the most debate happens and one of the busiest times here in Democratic Services.

The Council elected a new Chair in May this year, and this will be his first full Council meeting since being appointed – here’s a short news story about the new Chair, Councillor Michael Doody.

There will be plenty going on next week – here’s the agenda in summary:

  • Petition – “Save Bath Place Community Venture”
  • Partnership Landscapes
  • Former Ford Foundry Site – Addition to the Capital Programme
  • Community Right to Challenge
  • Establishing a Police and Crime Panel
  • New Standards Framework
  • Report from Portfolio Holder – Customers, Access and Property

As always, our meetings are open to the public and you’re all welcome to attend. You can download the agenda and reports for the meeting here.

If you have any questions or comments, email me at martynharris@warwickshire.gov.uk or leave a comment below.

Getting to the heart of young people’s issues

Young people discussing their concerns with Councillors

Warwickshire has a vibrant pool of young people engaged in politics and democracy, with lots of ideas and issues they want to see addressed. They now have a clearer route into the County Council to raise awareness of those issues…

Last night, two of our leading County Councillors met with Warwickshire VOX (Local Youth Councils) and local Members of the Youth Parliament (MYPs) to gain a better understanding of the issues that matter to young people. The idea was to:

  • Establish a dialogue, so that communication between Councillors and young people is better
  • Listen to issues of concern for young people, and how Councillors can try to address these concerns
  • Work out how young people can be more involved in decision making in Warwickshire

We’re pleased to say the meeting went really well. MYPs and VOX members really got their concerns across to the Councillors on a range of matters, including:

  • Youth unemployment
  • Bus services
  • Negative stereotyping of young people in the media

Councillors valued the opportunity to hear first-hand accounts of the challenges being faced, and have now committed to meeting formally with VOX and MYPs every term to try and address them.

There is also a commitment to getting young people more involved in Council decision making and scrutiny. We’ll keep you up to date with how this goes.

As always, we’d welcome your views on this story – or any other Council matters. Please get in touch via email or Twitter, or post a comment below.

County Council Annual Meeting – 15th May 2012

Council

We will be holding our annual meeting next Tuesday 15th May at Shire Hall.  In general, Council AGMs are a largely ceremonial affair, with the appointment of Committees and the election of a new Chair of the Council.

Councillor Philip Morris-Jones will be handing over his chains of office to a new Chair (we’ll let you know who this is next week), and a new Vice-Chair will also be elected.

As well as these procedural matters, there’s also quite a bit on the agenda:

  • “Going for Growth” – which, if agreed, will become the Council’s plan for promoting economic growth in the county
  • Improving decision-making and scrutiny – which looks at how we can improve scrutiny, and bring more public interest issues into Council meetings. Our petitions scheme is also up for review
  • Health and Wellbeing Board – this has been in operation for a while now in “shadow” form, but Council will be asked to agree it formally on Tuesday. You can read more about the Board on its new blog.

The papers for the meeting can be downloaded here.

For more information, or if you have any questions, leave a comment below, or contact me at martynharris@warwickshire.gov.uk

Scrutiny Annual Report – 2011/12

You don’t need a magnifying glass to carry out effective scrutiny, but it helps.

We’ve just published our “Scrutiny Annual Report” for 2011-12, which will be discussed at our next full Council meeting on 15th May (more about this next week). Thought you would like a read, and also to find out more about Scrutiny at Warwickshire.

The report brings together all the pieces of scrutiny we’ve done over the past year, including in-depth reviews of Council and local health services, the performance of individual departments and the wider transformation of services. Hopefully, it gives an overall picture of the puzzle.

Sorry, what’s scrutiny again…?

Rather than me re-inventing the wheel, social media bloggers podnosh explain scrutiny nicely. The Centre for Public Scrutiny also do a good job (well, they would).

But in summary, scrutiny is one of the building blocks of local democracy. It holds local leaders to account for the decisions they make, challenges performance and makes suggestions for improvement.

Councillors are currently considering what they want to scrutinise over the next 12 months, and we’ve recently blogged  about how you can get involved. Click the link or leave us a comment below.

%d bloggers like this: