Saturday, February 12, 2011

And something else CPALC missed

Test 4 is about community engagement.
This is the mandatory part.
The Town Council does have a website. It does actually provide a list of Councillors and Officers and e-mail address.What it doesn't do, up until the Quality Town Status was bunged, "was provide access to your Annual Report". How Ian Dewar, Diane Bayliss and Steve Wilkinson and his Accreditation Committee missed this one is a bit beyond  me.

That is not all. There is a problem over the newsletter the Town Council part produces with SNTCI. In the 30th June 2010 publication of the Annual Report it says:
This was revised in the 30th September 2010 version of the Annual Report to:
The Town Council went from publishing to using Priorities.
At the 2010 Annual Town Meeting I asked the following question:
The Town Mayor replied that: "Priorities Magazine is not a Town Council Publication".

With Priorities not being a Town Council publication the test is failed in that part. The alternative is to contribute to a specific section on your local council at least 4 times a year. This it does by contributing to Priorities.

Lets take Priorities dated March 2010 as an example. On the back page there is a section on the Town Councillors with pictures, addresses and contact details. On the inside page there is a message from the Town Mayor babbling on. So there are two sections not a specific section. Also what the Town Mayor is up to is not Town Council news.
Where in all of March 2010 issue is the news about the Town Council? There were live issues which the Town Council could and should have informed residents about. The impending enlargement of St Neots Town Council area taking in the annexed areas of Eynesbury Hardwicke and St Neots Rural Parish Councils. The loss of Quality Town Council status. Or even a bit about the Council Tax reduction by St Neots Town Council. Not a word. Not a single word about any of these issues.

If this is the standard which is set by CPALC and Steve Wilkinson and his accreditation committee then any Parish or Town Council can pass this test. This communicates nothing. Yet CPALC seems to feel St Neots Town Council has passed this test. A newsletter should contain news from the Town Council. By any definition, however loose, this doesn't happen!

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