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Thursday, 14 April 2011

YES to AV and the Ealing Scrutiny Panel

The scrutiny panel I attended tonight went on so long that I missed the YES to AV meeting in Ealing Town Hall.

At the meeting was scheduled to be Tom Brake Lib Dem MP, Steve Pound Labour MP, Jenny Jones Green GLA and it was chaired by Adrian Cave OBE. I hope a lot of people attended as AV is so much better than our current outdated electoral system.

At the scrutiny panel which started at 7pm (and finished at 10pm) a number of subjects were raised:

Discretionary Rate Relief - this is where the government and / Councils given rebates to organisations like charities or sports clubs so that they can afford rents and provide services to the community. The current system does not fully work and so the Council wishes to review it which it is doing whilst looking to save money as well! The positive conclusion is that it is likely the Council will be reviewing each organisation separately and will not waste time on very small organisations.

Voluntary Grants - the council committee agreed to not reduce grants this year to give more time to allow organisations to review their outgoings over the next year, The future after this time is not known.

Controlled Parking Zones - I made points to state that the current Religious Parking Arrangements should not stand as they are likely to be open to be abused due to the council not requiring any owner or car details of the people who are meant to be visiting a religious premises. They are allegedly passed on which means many residents who live near a religious building cannot park as the cheaper religious permits can be used to flood the area.

I then raised issues about permits for carers who spend a lot of time visiting relatives to assist when they are in need to help due to illnesses. I also helped to ensure that CPZ zones could still have buffer zones which would mean people in a zone can park in the road adjacent to the border of a parking zone when the parking pressures are great in particular areas.

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