For once the Questions certainly outshone the debates in terms of topics, answers and good old fashioned political point scoring.
Attack of the Day
An uncharacteristically boisterous attack from Cllr John Wyatt (Con, Bowthorpe) who asked the Executive if they would lobby the UEA to accommodate more students on campus in order to save the Norwich housing stock. Cllr Bert Bremner, Executive Member for Communities, replied it gave the normally docile Tory a bit of an electric shock. Cllr Wyatt responded saying that the answer was "typically evasive and devoid of any real action". It certainly didn't answer Cllr Wyatt's question but could Cllr Bremner - who has incurred the wrath of UEA students several times - really be failing to provide leadership on this? Apparently so. So shocked was he that Cllr Bremner refused to answer the question. Oh dear - not a festive start.
Fluff of the Day
Cllr Wright (LibDem, Eaton) with a quite bizarre question about data protection. It was clearly meant for some press release or another and was meant to be topical but it failed miserably on all counts. Some ideas are just too clever I suppose.
Insult of the Day
"Comparing yourselfs to the woeful performance of the last LibDem administration is like saying Terry Venebals was a good England manager but only compared to Steve McClaren." Cllr Little (Con, Bowthorpe)
Angry Man of the Day
LibDem Jeremy Hooke (Thorpe Hamlet) launched into Executive Member Cllr Alan Waters about council tax collection rates with the gusto of a man possessed with political indignation. But when he got the reply he wanted, the wind was well and truly out of his sails.
Exchange of the Day
For a second month running this goes to Cllr Lubbock (LibDem, Eaton) who is moving away from her reputation for shooting herself in the foot. She asked if Cllr Morrey (Labour) would back the campaign to reduce the speed limit on Newmarket Road. When Cllr Morrey said no, Cllr Lubbock produced with wonderful timing and brilliant tone, a quote from Charles Clarke backing the plans. "Well, he's the MP and I'm on the council ... er, I have nothing to do with Charles Clarke," spluttered poor old Cllr Morrey. A second direct hit for Cllr Lubbock.
Question of the Day
The billing of LibDem Deputy Leader Brian Watkins (Eaton) versus Labour's Bert Bremner (University) didn't quite live up to the billing, but it was a well crafted question. Cllr Bremner has been involved with the campaign to save the Blackdale fields for some time. His Labour government has given permission to sell off the fields, so Cllr Watkins asked if the government had let down local people. There was no right answer to this question for Cllr Bremner. So he started a long rant about the campaign not being dead. Very very boring and most people had forgotten the political hole he was in by the end of it. Cllr Watkins had the chance to pour on pressure but his supplementary was a bit flat and let Cllr Bremner off the hook. A great question but, to be honest, a pisspoor answer.
Answer of the Day
In a bunch of Green questions that fell flat, the best of them was from Cllr Little (Town Close) who asked what carbon reduction has so far been achieved. To what poor old Cllr Brian Morrey splutter and wince and then admit he had no idea was priceless. Apparently we were making progress, but, er, um, nobody has any idea how much. If at all. Really. Ah. Yes. Cllr Morrey had a bad night all round really. Full marks to Cllr Read (Green, Wensum) who was quick enough during his question to say, "I wanted an answer to the last question actually but I suppose the answer to this one will do."