Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Free coach trip at public expense. Just join 'Senior Moments'

A Stockwood older peoples' group is to get a coach outing at public expense, at the insistence of Stockwood councillors David Morris and Jay Jethwa. 

A £500 chunk of the ward's 'wellbeing' fund will be used to pay for the trip by 'Senior Moments', the over-50s group that meets each month in the library.

The decision was driven through, despite protests from Partnership members, at this evening's meeting of the Hengrove and Stockwood Neighbourhood Partnership.

The Wellbeing fund is a fixed sum allocated to each partnership from central city council funds. Organisations can ask for grants from it ; every request for a grant is first closely examined by a subcommittee of Partnership members, using agreed guidelines to prioritise the best ones, and making recommendations to help the councillors decide which ones to accept.

Neither of the Stockwood councillors had been at the subcommittee meeting and only one, David Morris, was at the NP meeting. The other, Jay Jethwa, had already made it known that she'd like to see the money spent on the outing – but she wasn't there to vote. 

The consensus of the subcommittee, and the near-consensus of the Partnership, was that coach outings are not what the wellbeing money is for. 

The only other councillor present this evening, Sylvia Doubell of Hengrove, deferred to Cllr. Morris's judgement as it's ''Stockwood money” that's being spent. And he rallied in support of his absent colleague, and voted the £500 away.

So.... if you fancy a summer outing and you're over 50, get yourself up to the Library on the third Wednesday of the month, 10.30am. Doesn't matter if you're rich or poor. You'll probably find that 'Senior Moments' will provide good company for your free trip out.

And while everything around you is being cut back with the enthusiastic support of our Tory councillors, you can at least benefit from their utter inconsistency and their contempt for the concept of 'partnership'.   And wonder why you get the freebie and others will go without.

UPDATE:  1st October 2012.
A request goes in from an NP member  (Stockwood Pete himself) to get an item on the next NP agenda to try to stop this sort of thing happening again.   The idea is to invite the Partnership to suggest that councillors should give us an explanation if they choose to overturn a 'well-being' recommendation.   Councillors can give that undertaking, or not, as they choose - but it will be on record.
Officers and councillors flatly refuse to allow it on the agenda.   Under what powers is not clear.  

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