Right! Now where had we got to? Ah yes...
Lib Dem councillor Alex Foster attempted to get a resolution at council calling on Portfolio Holder for Adult Services and Health to lobby the blood doner service to allow gay and bisexual men to be allowed to give blood, which they are currently banned from doing so. Despite this the resolution was amended to remove any reference to gay men, with said Portfolio Holder apparently heard to say "I have gay friends, but..." Enlightened times. Serious criticism from the Audit Commission over NCC's subsidy claims for housing benefit and its administration of the Bridge Estate charity came to light and JoCo and his mates' continued appropriation of Notts Police Authority upsets a few more people.
We find out that NCC's website is woefully unfit for purpose for those who want to conduct business with the council online, putting NCC in breach of an, admittedly obscure, EU Directive, we point and laugh at Comms Chief Stephen Barker getting his priority driven prioritisations, erm, prioritised and the world of politics is upended when the Labour Group torpedos a Tory motion to help rehabillitate offenders. Collins gets quite undone over the Parliament St sex shop attempting to renew its license while Cllr Cat Arnold outs herself as a former high class (self defined) escort, causing schoolboy sniggers over the fact that she is the 'executive assistant for leisure' and setting a wonderful example for the city's schoolchildren. On the plus side, it probably helped to sell her book which came out at the same time (currently available for £6 off at Amazon, if you're interested).
A slightly quieter month this one. NCC's planning section decrees that one type of solar panel is 'in character' with an Edwardian conservation area but another type isn't, Harold Tinworth is formally awarded a contract to do the work that he's been doing for the last four years, after a scrupulously fair and open tender exercise obviously, and NCC puts the kibosh on this year's East Midlands Vegan Festival by refusig to allow use of the Council House on spurious 'wear and tear' grounds.
That decision to award Tinworth the contract was subjected to 'call-in. We went beyond the call of duty and went to observe the meeting which was as dull as you'd expect and just as much of a blatant cover up. After having initially lied about not employing consultants to sort out the lifts maintenance problems NCC suddenly remembered that in fact, yes they had done after all. Michael Williams bids a tearful farewell, inadvertently exposing the complete lack of thought in NCC's senior management restructure last year and we are heartened by an apparent outbreak of good practice at One Nottingham. I did say apparent...
The Post reveals the shocking misuse of confidentiality in local government rules when Harold Tinworth's offer to provide political advice at public expense to Labour councillors is exposed following the call-in meeting, Cllr Mick Newton gains my respect by outing himself as a mental health problem sufferer (next month - he loses it again), NCC's reasons for not allowing the East Midlands vegan Festival to be held at the Council house start to unravel and we have some fun chatting to some councillors for Local democracy Week. We end the month with the Information Governance team clamming up because there's some information that NCC wants to keep secret but they're not sure if the law allows them to do so.
The Standards Committee stretches credibility beyond the call of duty by ruling that JoCo has no case to answer over his misleading the call-in sub-committee over the selling price of Radford Unity Complex. We get hold of pretty good evidence that oh yes he bloody does have a case to answer and demand a review of their decision. Don't hold your breath. Just show there's no hard feelings we give JoCo valuable advice as to how he could still make it to MIPIM despite NCC's lack of enthusiasm to fund it any more. In 'that took longer than I expected' news, Nottingham Equal is given an amount of funding suspiciously similar to the amount taken from CEHRNN earlier in the year and NCC admits that CEHRNN would have been a competitor for such funding streams had they not been sabotaged. My local councillors disappoint, but don't surprise, me again by steadfastly ignoring my emails and One Nottingham destroys our illusions that they might actually be jolly good chaps by deciding not to cough up about how Nottingham Equal got their money and by installing JoCo's mate as Chief Exec without so much as expecting him to apply or attend an interview.
So, that's my second year of blogging. Obviously I wrote about a few more things than the lowlights above, partly due to lack of energy and partly because I don't get to find out about everything. Readers can help with the latter of course, we are always looking ou for disgruntled NCC, One Nottingham or even voluntary sector employees with information to share. Check my prfile for an email link.
Will we last for a third year? Will NCC's secret agents* 'take us out' or will we simply lose the will to live? Tune in regularly to find out.
*It's alright, I don't really think that NCC has secret agents.
On Mothering Sunday Week…
2 hours ago