Thursday, February 10, 2011

More on what CPALC missed

The discretionary part of Test 4 is an eye-opener.
I'll run through them:
Annual Report? No, this hasn't happened.
As the annual report is supposed to be a written document this hasn't happened either. The Annual Report and Accounts of 30th September 2010 didn't have a summary. Nor did the one produced on 30th June 2010. SNTC couldn't have passed this test.
The Town Council was going to have a Town Plan back in 2008/09. This was cut. The Town Council has plans for a proper Town Plan in the future. Having cut the last one I wait with baited breath. Nor can I find anything about a Market Town Action Plan. If they had any of these they would be on the website. But nothing. No Plan doesn't pass this test.
Probably. If you count what is in the Town Council offices.
Now I know the Town Council has the District Council sitting in the office. I can't find one to the County Council. What does electronically mean?
The Priorities magazine doesn't do this so they can't pass this test.
The Town Mayor Community Coffee morning must pass this test.
This has been passed by the Town Council. The test is passed. But what it is I don't know. The Town Council has yet to inform residents that it has a community engagement strategy. I would have thought it should be on the website allowing residents to see how the strategy involves them. Is it the definition of a Quality Town Council that it keeps its policies effectively secret?  Pass (unfortunately).
If a weblog is what is on the front page of the Town Council website this fails the definition. Today the weblog has two entries. I can't find an archive either.
And the comments are OFF. If this is what passes for a pass on the weblog front I'd love to see what a fail looks like! Nothing about budget or precept. Nothing about the Community Engagement Strategy. Just bits and pieces. No online forum or surveys. This is a fail.
What - surgeries. When and where are these held? Nothing in Priorities. Nothing on the website. FAIL.
Now this is a bit of a weird one. How are residents consulted over planning issues? Now the Town Council is very sharp on getting Planning Applications considered by its Planning Committee. But how does it actually consult residents. Unless they don't and all they rely on is someone reads the Agenda for the Planning Committee. 
An email to each authority should do the trick to pass this one.
I have to laugh at this one. I tried to find information on the Town Council when their website was down and I went round the corner to the St Neots library only to be told "they hadn't seen the Town Council in years". If they passed this test by using their own notice boards this isn't a pass at all. The Town Council should be doing more. FAILED. A quick nip round the corner to the library should have sorted this one out.
Yes they are. And all the squabbling that seems to go with this Town Council. PASS.
All I found was the Christmas Lights Switch on. Not much. Not many other activities are publicised in District Wide magazines over the last year.
Err...No. The charging of car parking at Riverside wasn't mentioned. The taking over the Public Toilets wasn't consulted on. The Town Council Forward Plan wasn't consulted on. When the Forward Plan was formulated until it passed there was no publication of the draft plan nor was there any way to comment either in writing or by email or via the website. This plan takes St Neots Town Council on a long journey. The public wasn't consulted as to content or the priorities it contains. FAIL.
I've never seen these. Could be around.

To tot up the scores:
1. Fail
2. Fail
3. Fail
4. Pass
5. Fail
6. Fail
7. Pass
8. Pass
9. Fail
10. Fail
11. Fail
12. Pass
13. Fail
14. Pass
15. Pass
16. Fail
17. Pass

Total: Fail = 10 - Pass = 7

Of course CPALC and Steve Wilkinson and his Accreditation Committee will disagree on some of these. But these would be minor passes at the lowest level of attainment. The Town Council doesn't have a Town Plan. It didn't consult over its own policies and strategies in the Forward Plan. The Annual Report is nowhere. St Neots Town Council is one of the largest Town Councils and yet is seems CPALC passed this section on minor passes minor attainments. If this is the standard, Dibley Parish Council could pass these tests and become a Quality Council!

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