Aileen Colleran’s Blog

Partick, Politics and Passions

Talk Talk

So why did I move an adjournment of the special council meeting on the 15th November that the SNP group had called to conclude the debating of the motions that hadn’t been heard at the last council meeting ? Simple – if the Labour administration in the council had shown no signs of being prepared to consider a different way of conducting business in the new council then their actions in invoking standing orders and incurring the extra costs of a special council meeting (£2000) would’ve been understandable and legitimate. BUT – we set up a cross-party Business Bureau which meets twice monthly and had already started discussions on how motions are debated and reviewing standing orders to progress more business. In fact, far from the Labour group crowding out SNP motions, the first come first served way of taking motions had worked to the Green party’s advantage as they’ve been quicker off the mark than any other oppositon group in submitting motions and we’d actually offered guaranteed slots for each party for one priority motion to avoid a free for all. One of the reasons I haven’t blogged for a couple of weeks was it wouldn’t have been appropriate whilst discussions were on-going about this. Yes, there was a bit of megaphone diplomacy via some blogs and the press , but there’s an agreed solution – cut the time allocated to speeches and extend council meetings by approximately an hour. The novelty of making speeches in the council chamber will wear off as new members realise the best use of their time is listening to their constituents, not party political points scoring in debates. Am not unsympathetic to the “wow” factor of finding yourself in the council and wanting to get up and speak as I well remember how I felt when I was elected – although I was quite familiar with the chamber as the Glasgow Unison branch executive meetings used to be held there and my first speech was cut short by the chair as I was on a bit of a rant – so when I came to make my maiden speech in council it wasn’t such a big deal, in fact the Provost of the time gave me a lecture about jumping in on debate without clearing it with him before the meeting (!) – as with my first contribution in a council committee (questioning why Scottish Women’s Aid weren’t being given the full allocation of funding they’d asked for) – and the chair gave me a hard time afterwards for daring to speak without warning her beforehand but I pointed out that no-one had ever explained these ‘rules’ and I wasn’t psychic….and for the avoidance of doubt, things are very different now..

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November 27, 2007 - Posted by | Council, SNP

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