Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Demystifying Sutton Council
The 54 Councillors in Sutton represent over 150,000 people, yet I suspect very few know what we do on a day to day basis in their name. Sutton Scene is a corporate magazine concentrating on Council services, the local newspapers report a few political stories. The time that councillors spend in the Civic Offices gets less coverage but needs to be done. The LibDems, as the ruling group make decisions. We scrutinise them and question those decisions. Much of the work is not adversarial, instead concentrating on the general running of the Council. This doesn't make it less important.
You'll see in the video above, a brief run through of what happens in a typical Council meeting. Most decisions are made elsewhere, so we have been looking at ways of making Full Council meetings more relevant, more interesting and more effective...We're still looking.
You can help. There are plenty of residents that grumble over their afternoon tea when reading the local papers. You can submit a question to the council by emailing committee.servicesATsutton.gov.uk (Change AT for @; I'm trying to avoid spam). This is then answered at the Council meeting and you will have the opportunity to have a follow-up question. There is half an hour for this and it is very underused. You see, if no-one asks questions, they think that they must be doing OK, so there's a challenge for you. Have a look at the Council web page for dates of Full Council and other meetings. I look forward to seeing you in the Public Gallery. If you can't sleep at night you can even listen to us witter on via streaming audio on the same website.
The BBC won't be beating a path to my door to present any politics programmes and a ray of light affected Brendan Hudson's piece, but I hope that my amateur effort gives you some idea about what we get up to on a Monday night.