22nd May 2018
Oakham Task & Finish Group Meeting #3 takes place at Catmose tonight at 6pm. This evening’s meeting will see the ‘Research & Evidence’ and ‘Engagement and Communications’ sub-groups report back. Also, there is a section titled ‘Definition of Oakham Town’ which, I trust, will address the scope issue mentioned earlier.
8th May 2018
Attendance at OT&F Group Meeting #2 was predictably sparse and the meeting itself made for pretty poor fare with, it seems, practically nothing being actually decided except for the setting up of some ‘sub-committees’ and what should be the key issue of the moment, the changing of the scope of the Group by the Scrutiny Panel, simply kicked into the long grass…. Along with some very dated presentations from RCCs Director For Places and its Communications Officer. This, of course, is exactly what RCC expects – the public lose interest in the long-term and then the Group is manipulated, with less and less of the public watching it, to achieve a pre-determined goal. In any case, it’s becoming apparent that by far the bigger threat to Rutland as a whole is the looming, so-called ‘Garden Village’ with latest numbers of houses being reported in the local papers last week as being at 6000. Further details on https://democracyrutland.com/and-another-thing/
Meeting Minutes here: https://drive.google.com/open?id=1sLDWKjrO2Ku5efyQK7lPcWR7eFRRmUwR
25th April 2018
Tonight, at 6pm, is the second meeting of the Oakham Task & Finish Group. This is a critical meeting as we’ll see if the arbitrary scope change forced on the Group is waved through in the teeth of opposition from OK2WAY and other members of the Group.
Let’s hope that a good turn-out from the public will demonstrate to RCC that the One-Way issue cannot be quietly swept away …..
19th April 2018
Following on from the discussion about the Scrutiny Panel arbitrarily changing the scope of the remit of the Oakham Task & Finish Group to ‘Oakham Town Centre’ and not ‘Oakham Town’ as had been previously agreed; it’s worth mentioning that at this month’s Full Council Meeting the phrasing used is again ‘Oakham Town’. OK2WAY advise that they will be directly addressing this attempt to change the scope at T&F Meeting #2 on the 25th April and it is to be hoped that this first attempt to move the goalposts will be stopped in it’s tracks.
Wording from the formal minutes:
- QUESTIONS FROM MEMBERS OF THE COUNCIL
A question had been submitted by Mr Cross in accordance with Procedure Rule 30.
Mr Cross asked the following question to the Leader of the Council:
What was the remit given to the chairman of the Oakham Town Task & Finish group, and what was the detail of any contract with the chairman, including amount of remuneration, if any, that the chairman will receive?
Mr Hemsley, Leader provided the following response:
Remit: The Independent Chairman was provided with the following information:
- There had been a Town Centre Proposal which included the introduction of a One Way System
- The proposal had been withdrawn following the change of leadership and in anticipation of opposition to the One way system
- Members were keen to keep momentum on improvements to the town
- A motion was carried at Full Council on 15 January 2018 for Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel to convene a Task and Finish Group to consider the future of Oakham Town – a link to the meeting on 15 January 2018 was provided
- A draft proposed timetable
Remuneration: £450 per day (excl. travel and VAT) – Mr Wade allows a day of time per meeting to include; preparation of reports and agenda; liaison with RCC, Group Members and members of the public; pre-meets; information gathering; the meeting itself; and agreement of minutes and communications following meetings. Mr Wade does not charge for travel time (he is based in Cambridge) and limits his travel costs to £44.10 per meeting/visit).
Mr Cross did not ask a supplementary question, but asked for the response to be circulated to members. It was confirmed that the response would be included in the minutes.
Link to full minutes:
5th April 2018
5th April 2018
The timing and attendance details of Oakham Task & Finish Group Meeting #2 has been announced:
The agenda for the meeting will issue seven days before the meeting itself.
29th March 2018
27th March 2018
Letter to Rutland Times / Rutland & Stamford Mercury submitted 10:50 / Tuesday 27th March
It’s disappointing to note that, with regard to the Oakham Task & Finish Group, RCC appear to be again reverting to type, despite all claims of openness, transparency and ‘working with the community’ made back at the beginning of February.
I refer, of course, to last week’s GIR Scrutiny Panel Meeting where, against the objections of at least one Councillor, the scope of the T&F Group was arbitrarily reduced to cover only Oakham Town Centre and not the whole of Oakham Town. As Councillor Cross stated, this is not what was agreed at the full Council Meeting on 15th January. In fact, if you refer to the relevant section of those Meeting Minutes (501), the phrase ‘Oakham Town’ is consistently used. (The Minutes can be accessed on the Council website under ‘Calendar of Meetings). Furthermore, Cllr Gale only seconded the motion setting up the T&F Group providing the word ‘Centre’ was removed. This was agreed, seconded, debated and Resolved accordingly.
This follows on the heels of the previous Scrutiny Panel where it was revealed that ‘it had been decided’ that instead of 11 Councillors presenting their case to be elected to the T&F Group, 6 of the 8 Oakham Ward Councillors had been selected to take that role.
It’s clear to all (except evidently Chris Wade and the Scrutiny Panel) that Oakham issues cannot be looked at only in the context of the Centre itself, as the town is the sum of all of its parts. The Petition didn’t only focus on the Centre and neither did the debate on 15th January. There are many residents out there who believe that in spite of promises to the contrary, the T&F Group is nothing but a sop to public opinion and RCC certainly appear to be demonstrating exactly that.
22nd March 2018
On Thursday evening at 7pm the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel will meet in the Catmose Council Chamber. Item 7 on the agenda will consider Report 61-2018 Oakham Task & Finish Group (https://drive.google.com/open?id=1s85HeaqXWHnKtPRbGiXUswk-VHlYvyi-) and agree the Terms of Reference for the T&F Group. It is expected that a decision will be made on whether to add a further member of the public to the Group – to represent Residents or other local groups such as the disabled or youth groups. If this is a agreed then a further Councillor will be appointed to maintain the balance in favour of elected Councillors. To quote directly from the first Task & Finish Group (8th March) Meeting Minutes:
“The group agreed to consider a nomination from one additional outside organisation/group that satisfied the criteria detailed above. This was in line with the discussion at the GIR Scrutiny Panel on 15th February 2018 that the membership could be increased to a maxium of 12 members and took into account that the number of co-opted members could not outweigh the number of RCC elected Councillors.”
As an aside, one might ask the question, ‘How does five co-opted members (assuming one is approved on Thursday evening) outweigh six Councillors in any case…?
14th March 2018
Task & Finish Group Meeting Minutes
10th March 2018
Martin Brookes video of first Task & Finish Group Meeting
8th March 2018
Update from the Chair of Oakham Task and Finish Group
6th March 2018
Task & Finish Group Meeting #1
22nd February 2018
Printed minutes of the Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel Meeting.
15th February 2018
Growth, Infrastructure and Resources Scrutiny Panel Meeting to approve membership of the Task & Finish Group.