At long last RCT Council made their initial webcast on 19th February, and welcome as it is to see some movement the performance must have left people wondering what on earth the Cabinet is paid for.
It also demonstrated that there is a need for more technological advancement in the Council. With over four minutes of no sound at the beginning and extremely poor sound quality throughout the PR and Strategy Department need to get their act together over this.
The whole meeting lasted around 50 minutes, despite items of some considerable importance being included. The Welsh Government proposed changes to the Planning system for instance, along with feedback from Estyn of the Education Department, pans to rearrange special needs schooling, and consortium arrangements for School Improvement.
These are subjects which, one would think, need considerable discussion - not a set piece performance from the Labour Cabinet.
The webcast went something like this:
7 minutes of the Officer reading out his report on Coroner's office.
No member of Cabinet spoke other than Cabinet Member responsible who read out a pre-prepared statement. A non-Cabinet (Plaid) Member spoke
Just under 3 minutes of Officer reading out his report on Members' indemnity
No member of Cabinet spoke other than Cabinet Member responsible who read out a pre-prepared statement.
2 minutes of Officer reading out his report on residential parking zones
The Cabinet Member for Highways read out a pre-prepared statement, actually following the text with his fingers so he didn't lose his place.
Three other Cabinet Members actually spoke about this as did a non-Cabinet (Labour) Member.
12 minutes of Officer reading out her report on planning reform.
Again the Cabinet Member responsible could not follow the text of his pre written comments without the help of his fingers. No other Member spoke on the subject.
Only 1 minute of Officer reading out his report on the Estyn follow up inspection report.
Cabinet Member at least didn't need to use her hands to read.
Again no other Cabinet Member spoke on the subject.
The Director of Education again - this time less than a minute on School Improvement and consortium working.
Excellent bit of reading again from the Cabinet Member responsible, but again no comment from anyone else in the Cabinet.
Yet again the Director of Education, this time keeping it short again on realignment of special needs services, although slightly longer than his previous two contributions.
Cllr Hanagan read her lines again, but apart from a non-Cabinet Member who asked to comment a specific school nobody had anything to say.
It is quite disgraceful that the Cabinet show so little regard to the business of running this Council. Hopefully people will actually watch this webcast and see just what a sham the whole system is.
Campaign Manager RCT Welsh Liberal Democrats