Wednesday, March 14, 2007

So where did the day go?

I started with all sorts of good intentions - a very clear list in my mind of what needed doing, including some long overdue housework. But 'twas not to be. First off, a very pleasant distraction in the form of a chat with hubby on the other side of the world courtesy of that miracle of modern technology, Skype. Then our Focus leaflets arrived from the lovely people who count them out into rounds for our deliverers. So the letter which needed to go in each envelope then had to be added, the envelopes sorted into batches for each of us to take, and my colleagues contacted.
By then it was time to go to my first meeting - a look at the council's forward plan with other group leaders. No surprises there this time, thank goodness.
A quick dash to the High Street for something to eat and then it was Planning Committee. I don't think I've ever been quite so confused by a planning application as I was by two of the agenda items this time. Some really difficult decisions to make, and I still don't understand some of the evidence despite officers trying very hard to explain. The meeting lasted so long that I had to leave before the end and still was late for my next one. The only really bright spot in the whole proceedings was being able to look at a revised application for something that was turned down last year, remember the site visit we had, and bring that experience into the debate. At the end the overwhelming opinion of the committee was the same as mine - that this application was not a sufficient improvement and should not be allowed. It was a domestic application with a big impact on just one property, but it's good to be able to look after the interests of an individual from time to time.
Then on to SACRE (Standing Advisory Council on Religious Education) where the new chairman and vice-chairman brought a breath of fresh air to the procedings thanks to their "chalk face" knowledge of the subject. As a result I came away thinking that for the first time since I became a member two years ago, SACRE is about to become a proactive body in Stockton.

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