Saturday, 5 February 2011

Cleaning Up in Park

RBC's solo Green councillor, Rob White, has smashed previous records for casework totals by logging 467 problems on behalf of residents.

Cllr Willis records the full list for the 8 months from May to December 2010.

He refuses to speculate on the actual content of the reports his fellow councillor undertakes, but notes casework is only a part of a councillors workload - hinting that as a lone councillor with no group mechanics to manage and no prospect of running the council the full policy component of the role has been down-played in favour of building up support with voters.

This is backed up by comparison with previous years, as LibDems have significantly reduced their reporting figures as they entered the ruling administration in partnership with Conservatives.

Cllr White's numbers still stack up impressively against his two Park Ward colleagues. Conservative Cllr Wazir Hussain logged 26 and Labour's Cllr John Hartley 46 pieces of casework - between July 2009 and February 2010 the three community representatives (then two Labour and one Conservative) only logged 32 cases between them - local residents will definitely be pleased at the increase!

Meanwhile Reading Post's Linda Fort contends that hard-pressed council workers "must be relieved" there is only one Green councillor.

She reports Cllr White has complained a number of times about 'bread-and-butter issues like fly tipping, broken street lights and potholes' in addition to more complex matters, and balances this against Cllr Willis' critique that serving the community can sometimes spill over into overuse with reports of 'sometimes trivial' or repeat problems.

However it's also worth questioning whether Cllr White's total reflects the work of a whole team of activists which would be shared out if additional Green Party councillors were elected, and if he is in fact reducing a backlog of problems which have stored up in a neglected area with some of the highest areas of deprivation in the borough.

Future reports will provide the answers!

Sadly, as yet, no Labour commenter has responded with a contribution to the debate to provide their rationale for the changes.

Nevertheless the figures show an intriguing 3-way electoral battle is shaping up in Park Ward, which stretches from the highly-urbanised Newtown area up to more verdant areas between Reading University's Whiteknights campus and Lower Earley.


More on 'Who is your hardest working counillor?'

1 comment:

  1. See my blog for more about what I have been up to:


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