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OMG focuses on initial priorities
Posted on 25 May 2012
Orkney Manifesto Group Councillors Alistair Gordon, Bill Stout and John Richards have made their first formal contact with OIC officials, focussing on initial policy priorities from their 2012 election manifesto.
The three councillors are using the council’s own internal conventions to ask heads of department to consider bringing papers and proposals forward to consider, initially, child care provision in Orkney and web casting of Council meetings.
Cllr Richards has approached several senior officials with a view to examining current child care provision in the County. “It appears to us that there are areas where working families in particular struggle to find either suitable or affordable child care. Given that many of the council’s own priorities are reliant on working women in particular to fulfil those, we think this is an area where the council could do much more to help,” he said.
Cllr Gordon added that the potential use of IT equipment for communicating council issues to a much wider audience throughout the islands had already started but that much more could be done with the latest technology
“At a time of apparently diminishing interest in council matters, OMG are committed to communicating the council’s message to as many people as possible. We can see no reason whatsoever why council meetings cannot be streamed live to anyone who wishes to see how their elected members arrive at decisions and how they vote on them. These meetings can be archived so that members of the public could look at them at their leisure later, whether they are in Kirkwall or Papa Westray,” he said.
Meanwhile, OMG has outlined what they see as an anomaly in how the council elects people on to the many sub committees and working groups, without prior knowledge of councillors’ strengths. A councillor skills data base would help everyone arrive at more coherent decision making, they suggest.
New Kirkwall East Councillor Bill Stout added: “We find the process of electing Councillors to committees and external bodies makes little or no reference to the past experience and capabilities of the Members. We want to see a database set up in time to inform the next round of committee elections in two years’ time.”
Posted on 25 May 2012