Journal: Sabrina Nelson

Journal No 1 - October 2015 Summary

I attended the Civic Leadership Programme launch event on the 9th October. I was looking forward to meeting my mentor but I also felt some in trepidation. However, I felt at ease once Juliet Campbell and David Osei (previous participants) shared their experiences.

I could see one of my fellow participants furiously scribbling and making notes during the speeches. Unfortunately, I was more concerned with looking my best for the photos so I had left home without any paper or even a pen!

Lesson 1- Always bring a notepad and a pen to future meetings

Prior to leaving the event I found my mentor Councillor Colin Elliott. I arranged to meet Cllr Elliot at the Licensing Committee meeting and this time I was fully prepared with my notebook and pen.

In this particular case, the Licensee had submitted an application to vary their existing licensing conditions which was opposed by the local residents, police and the Council's Out of hours Noise team. After hearing from the key stakeholders the Committee retired to consider their verdict. They rejected the application and made some recommendations. In my opinion, the Committee made the right decision as the Licensee had breached their License on numerous occasions.

I also attended the Overview and Scrutiny Committee where the main focus was "devolution". Barry Quirk completed a presentation on the topic followed by Q&A. The overall outcome was the Council needs to investigate new ways of working with neighbouring boroughs in order to save money by pooling resources through shared services. However, the Committee felt this could only be achieved successfully through clear lines of accountability.