Saturday, February 07, 2009

In a few minutes of relaxation today (it is Saturday after all) I caught up on what's been happening in other parts of the Tees Valley by reading some of the local Lib Dem Blogs. I was particularly taken with the description by Mike Barker of Darlington Council's cabinet meetings. It seems that Darlington have something to teach Stockton on how to extend the debate on important issues. Although Stockton's cabinet meetings are open to the public and I usually attend my opportunity to contribute is at the chair's discretion. To be fair to the current leader of the counci he does always allow members of council and other members of the public to have their say, but there's no right for other parties to have a representative sitting at the table. And of course, there's no opportunity for other parties to join in the pre-cabinet briefing sessions at which the awkward questions can be asked and often answered in confidence. Having said that, there is a more open attitude under the present leadership than in the past.
I read with something nearing despair reports of the extreme weather around the world at the moment. Parts of the UK under a foot of snow with more on the way and salt for the roads running out while parts of South Eastern Australia suffer temperatures of 46 and wildfires running out of control. Climate change seems to be producing some mad, bad weather at the moment.

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