"Local Plan raised the temperature of the debate"

Land at Clifton
Land at Clifton

A groundbreaking Full Council meeting was held last week.

Groundbreaking, not because any constructive ideas were discussed or that there was an evening without the usual party political back-biting, but groundbreaking because for the first time the meeting was broadcast live on the internet. I think its called a ‘webcast’.

Four cameras with an audio feed, all sent out into the ether, at who knows what expense, in the name of open government. The councillors had been forewarned ,of course, so there was a sprinkling of new suits, hairdos and ties ,but unfortunately the same old attitudes.

Early indications are that 65 viewers watched it. Most of them were in the chamber as councillors frantically checked their electronic devices to catch a glimpse of themselves on the ‘telly’.

We discussed the Local Plan and I learned a new phrase. ‘ the Southeast Calderdale strategy’. I’m sure the administration feels this is a nicer phrase than the ‘ completely concrete over Clifton Strategy’. Bit of marketing going on there.

This Local Plan has certainly raised the temperature of the debate. At one Local Plan meeting I was told off firmly by a rather irate lady whos point was that I should keep my opinions to myself (not really my strength!) unless they were about my own ward. Fair play to her.

If the final plan is acceptable to the people of my ward I’ll vote for it, if not, I won’t. I’d urge other councillors to do the same, but they’ll vote the way their party tells them to.

The next major motion was about plastic waste. Not you may think about how Calderdale deals with it, but how Calderdale can teach others around the world to deal with it ,then become a world leader in the field, whilst setting an example to the whole planet and thus, saving it( the world ,that is) at the same time.

Unfortunately for the world, no details were forthcoming. Just an hour of what I believe is called ‘virtue-signalling’. My Auntie Joyce,who lives in Morley, would call it a ‘load of hot air’ in one of her more polite moments. All parties agreed that plastic waste was a really bad thing. (no kidding!) David Attenborough ,The Blue Planet, dying baby whales and disappearing turtles on the coast of Northern Cyprus ,all got a mention. Recyclable tissues were handed out. T

he only sour note to this political love-in came when it was pointed out that there were over 25 plastic water bottles in the chamber at the time! You couldn’t make it up. Is it too cynical to suggest that this whole thing was staged for the cameras?

So next time tune in as Calderdale Council decides to bring about World Peace and end all famine. Should be worth watching.