Q&A session with Marco Biagi and Mark McAteer
Delegates were asked to pose questions for this session.
My question was ‘how will CCs be included in Community Planning Partnerships?‘ I can’t find this research just now but I recall looking at all 32 CPPs a year or so ago. CCs were not represented on many of them. What is the point of supposedly representative bodies being excluded from structures that have massive influence on local matters?
I think Mr Biagi and Mr McAteer made a good fist of handling the questions, both those selected by the organisers and some impromptu ones from the floor. (Having said that, no-one will succeed in politics without this skill.) For me, one of the major questions was ‘Can CCs have the same powers and funding as English parish councils?’ Mr Biagi responded that he is actively looking at other models of local democracy. I don’t think this will have satisfied the questioner but I understand that things need to evolve. Sudden, massive change doesn’t work, in my opinion. Also, not all CC members will be immediately ready for new powers. So I suggest that individual CCs take (or are given) the powers and duties for which they are ready. (Quite how that will be determined isn’t clear just yet.) And of course mistakes will be made, and this will lead to outcry and opprobrium. Rhino-skins will be needed.