Following a heady couple of days of throwing stuff out of my house to make way for lots of new stuff to clutter the place up, I went to a scrutiny meeting this afternoon which was discussing, amongst other things, the transport strategy and the future of disabled parking in Norwich.
I have to admit to quite liking scrutiny. I know that other councillors find it a bit tedious at times but the much quieter and more thoughful debate that goes into it seems to get better results than some of party politiking at other meetings. Of particular interest today was the incredibly interesting submission of Labour Councillor David Bradford on why disabled blue bagde holders should still get free parking in the surface car parks in the city. He is disabled himself but is very much able to see all angles of the debate. A great contribution. This led onto an interesting sub debate about the enforcement of the current legislation, the number of diabled car parking spaces available and even the systematic abuse of "parent and toddler" spaces!
There was a funny moment when a few councillors complained that we didn't have the right info to scrutinise the NATS (transport strategy) in full ... it turns out because traffic stats need to be collected over a minimum of 4 years to make them worthwhile. I have to say that the document in front of us was pretty 1D on stats concerning itself only the number of cars and not factoring in speeds, journey times or anything like that.
As I say, a good meeting all in all. However it is just a pity that the public turn up to watch the slanging match that is full council but not a single person attended today's meeting!
p.s. For those who care, I voted against charging the disabled for their parking, I questioned in depth the spending policies of the council and I got utterly confused by NATS.