Residents invited to Annual Town Meeting

BSTC Annual Report

Bradley Stoke Town Council is inviting residents to the Annual Town Meeting, to be held this evening (Wednesday 13th May) at the Jubilee Centre, Savages Wood Road (7:30pm start).

The meeting will receive summary reports from the Chair of Council, Cllr Robert Jones, and the Chairs of the Finance & Leisure Committee (Cllr Mark Forsyth) and Planning & Amenities Committee (Cllr Morgan Baynham).

Members of the public will then have the opportunity to put questions to Councillors in an open session.

After the formal business of the meeting has been completed, Kim Hazeldine, Head of Community Sport and Active Lifestyles for South Gloucestershire Council will give a short presentation on “developing sport and opportunities you might be able to get involved in”.

Members of the former Northavon Bowls Club, which had to disband after being evicted by the Town Council from its ground at Baileys Court last year, are likely to have their own views on the Council’s attitude to developing sport in the community and may use the meeting as an opportunity to once again voice their displeasure.

Councillors’ reports may already be inspected online in the Annual Report for 2008/2009 [PDF, 2.8MB], which has recently been made available on the Council’s website.

Brian Hopkinson

A section towards the end of the Annual Report details the attendance record of Councillors during the financial year. Top marks go to Cllr Brian Hopkinson (Conservative, pictured right) who has attended 14 Council and Committee meetings, making him the only representative with a 100% record.

Cllr Hopkinson’s colleagues on the Council might wish he had been a less enthusiastic attender, as he has a record of turning up at meetings with his own agenda, which often brings him into conflict with other members of his own political party. A recent meeting of the Finance & Leisure Committee saw Cllr Hopkinson narrowly escape being expelled from proceedings after Chair Mark Forsyth lost patience with his maverick colleague during a discussion on the funding of youth work in the town.

Cllr Hopkinson also had a hand in the embarrassing reversal of a Town Council decision to relocate its offices to a unit at the Willow Brook Centre. Mayor Robert Jones proudly announced the move in September 2008, but Cllr Hopkinson then came up with an alternative plan involving expansion of the Jubilee Centre and even went as far as paying an architect to draw up plans for the project. The March meeting of Full Council once again heard Cllr Hopkinson promoting his Jubilee Centre plan, saying that the job could be done for £350,000 and urging the Council to take advantage of favourable loan terms said to be available as a consequence of the economic downturn. Other Councillors were less than enthusiastic about making a hasty decision, insisting that “due process” needed to be followed, which does raise questions about how easily the Willow Brook move was waved through back in September.

At the other end of the scale, a number of Councillors have attended less than half of the meetings at which they were expected, the Planning & Amenities Committee being worst affected. Three of that committee’s monthly meetings during the year turned out to be inquorate. Residents of Manor Farm Crescent, whose appeals for help in combatting anti-social behaviour were referred to that Committee, had to wait almost three months for a reply as two consecutive meetings (in July and August) were inquorate.

All those attending tonight’s meeting are invited to join Council members and staff for light refreshments after the proceedings.

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One comment

  1. While Councillor Brian Hopkinson should indeed be congratulated for his 100% attendance record in turning up for 14 meetings, the Councillor with by far the most attendances overall is myself. I attended 22 out of 24 meetings covering all aspects, a fact rather ignored by your paper. { It should be recognised that if a member is down for 1 meeting and duly attends this he will have a 100% record !!! }

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