Democracy Needs to Move into All Official Meetings Held on Our Behalf

Information below is about my area of Cheshire for the use of Tatton Constituency labour Party members and other members of the public. Convoluted as it is, readers will find that the basic groupings are virtually identical across the country. Why not make up a similarly detailed online list for your area? Adding links to make such meetings easy to find will aid a great number of people toget in and ensure – for once – that we have democracy.

The Meetings in Public of the Local Authority, Town and Parish Councils,  Health Authorities and other organisations below, are your opportunity to find out more about how our Local Authority and Health infrastructure works, and to have your own input. Most will have a specific item within the Agenda or as an attached ‘Public Forum’, where members of the public can raise questions and offer help. These meetings are open for the public to arrive and leave as they will. If you do not have the time, there is no need to stay for the whole meeting. Just arrive and leave quietly as it suits you.

I have attended many of the meetings below.. and will attend them again. If you are going to any Council meeting for the first time and feel unsure of how it will work, tell your councillor  and ask him/her to meet you there and talk you through what happens.. and aiding your opportunity to speak. For Tatton Constituency Labour Party Members, I  would be willing to meet you there and attend with you on your first occasion. Perhaps others would be willing to do likewise?  If we have a special reason for speaking, perhaps several members might wish to attend together in support of each other? For instance, in raising questions on health, care, education, public transport, roads maintenance, waste of public funds, etc.

These people all work using our public money, paid in as general taxes or local taxes. Come and see what your Councillors, Governing Body and Board members do with your money. Don’t forget that Parish Councillors work with very little money, and only small influence, as volunteers, doing their best for the very local community.

PapersAgendas & Minutes – are usually placed online up to one week before the meeting.. not before.

I never attend any meeting without having looked at the paperwork and having something to say, on some aspect of our local life and services. It really is more effective when people – who do not necessarily speak – arrive in support of a question/statement which is being presented. A group of otherwise silent people, in support of questions raised, can feel very ‘loud’ to Councillors.

Local Authorities – There are 2 within Tatton CLP area

  1. All members of the public can attend Cheshire East Council and Committee Meetings. Cheshire East is an overwhelmingly Conservative Authority. The majority of its Committee meetings are held in its Sandbach Council Chamber. Its Full Council Meetings rotate around its area, Sandbach, Congleton, Macclesfield.. rarely Crewe.”Public Speaking Time/Open Session – (In respect of the ordinary items of business and not the special meeting). In accordance with Council Procedure Rule 35 and Appendix 7 to the rules, a total period of 15 minutes is allocated for members of the public to speak at Council meetings. Individual members of the public may speak for up to 5 minutes, but the Chairman will decide how the period of time allocated for public speaking will be apportioned, where there are a number of speakers. “Members of the public wishing to ask a question at the meeting should provide at least three clear working days’ notice in writing and should include the question with that notice. This will enable an informed answer to be given. It is not a requirement to give notice of the intention to make use of public speaking provision. However, as a matter of courtesy, a period of 24 hours notice is encouraged.” The next one is at, 11 am Thursday 23 February 2017 at The Ballroom (above the Market Hall) Sandbach Town Hall, High Street, Sandbach, CW11 1AX. Council Calendar with links to papers and archives, here: http://moderngov.cheshireeast.gov.uk/mgCalendarMonthView.aspx?GL=1&bcr=1
  1. All members of the public can attend Cheshire West and Chester Council and Committee Meetings. The next Full Council meeting will be held at 5 pm on Thursday 23 February 2017, at The Drumber, Winsford. This venue is I believe the only one in CWAC area, which is big enough to take the whole council.(?) It is a beautiful space, which everyone should go in and see. (We all pay for it, after all.) CWAC has web cast, so if you have a point to make, you could then use and share that by linking to the web cast of it on their web site. Of course everyone will be aware that CWAC is now a Labour Authority? There are many other Committee Meetings which are usually held in Chester.. but which we also have the right to attend. How to arrange to speak at Council Meetings shown here: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/your-council/consultations-and-petitions/public-questions-at-meetings.aspx  Council Calendar here: https://www.cheshirewestandchester.gov.uk/your-council/public-meetings.aspx

Town councils – There are 3 within Tatton CLP area

  1. All members of the public can attend Knutsford Town Council meetings, to listen and have their say, in the two public speaking times about matters over which the Town Council has influence or duty. See what Town Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Meetings can be accessed via the alleyway behind the Council offices – next to the Jubilee rooms. The next Knutsford Town Council meeting is at 7pm on Monday 20 February 2017. Agendas and Minutes are posted a few days before each upcoming Knutsford Town Council meeting, at the link below. http://www.knutsfordtowncouncil.gov.uk/council/agendas-minutes
  1. All members of the public can attend Wilmslow Town Council meetings, to listen and have their say, during the 10 minute public participation time, about matters over which the Town Council has influence or duty. See what Town Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. 7:30 PM– 20  February 2017 – United Reformed Church, Meeting Rooms, Wilmslow. http://www.wilmslow-tc.org.uk/meetings.php
  1. All members of the public can attend Northwich Town Council meetings, to listen and have their say, in the Open Forum (prior notice requested) about matters over which the Town Council has influence or duty. See what Town Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Next meeting 6.30 pm – Monday 07 March 2017. Details online a few days before. http://northwichtowncouncil.gov.uk/council-meetings/

Parish Councils – many within Tatton CLP area

  1. All members of the public can attend Antrobus Parish Council meetings, to listen and have their say, during the Public Forum about matters over which the Parish Council has influence or duty. See what Parish Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Next Antrobus Parish Council meeting is at 7.15pm on Monday 20th February 2017 at the Village Hall. http://www.antrobus.info/meetingscalendar.html
  1. All members of the public can attend Barnton Parish Council meetings, to listen and have their say, in the ten minute public speaking time about matters over which the Parish Council has influence or duty. See what Parish Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Next Barnton Parish Council meeting is on Monday 20th February 2017 – at The Bungalow, Rosebank School, Townfield Lane, Barnton. Members of the public are encouraged to attend. http://www.barntonvillage.org.uk/Meetings.html
  1. All members of the public can attend Rudheath Parish Council meetings, to listen and have their say, about matters over which the Parish Council has influence or duty. See what Parish Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Meetings seem to be monthly, with next one on or around Monday 13 March 2017 at. The Leisure Centre, Shipbrook Road. Suggest contacting the Parish Clerk for information. rpcclerk@btinternet.com   – 01606 334078 http://www.rudheathparishcouncil.org.uk/minutes/
  1. All members of the public can attend Wincham Parish Council Meetings, to listen and have their say, in the 30 minute Public Forum about matters over which the Parish Council has influence or duty. See what Parish Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Next Meeting is at: The Community Centre, Wincham on Wednesday 22 February 2016 at 7.30 pm. Agenda and other details here: http://www.winchamvillage.co.uk/council.html

5       All members of the public can attend Alderley Edge Parish Council meetings, to listen and have their say, in the twenty minutes public speaking time about matters over which the Parish  Council has influence or duty. See what Town Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Next meeting will be: Monday 13th March at 7.30pm at the Festival Hall, Talbot Road, Alderley Edge.http://www.alderleyedge-pc.gov.uk/meetings.html

  1. All members of the public can attend Handforth Parish Council meetings, to listen and have their say, in the Open Forum‐ Comment and questions concerning items on this agenda may be put to the Council by the public during this period.. See what Town Councillors do. Consider standing to represent your area. Next meeting and Agendas can be found here: http://www.handforth.org.uk
  1. I am aware that there are many Parish Council Meetings – and Parish Meetings – which I have not yet had the opportunity to add; every Parish will have one. Perhaps I can encourage members to find out when their own Parish holds its meetings and send the information about time, place venue to me via email?  Then we can get all this information online in one place as a readily available Membership resource.

HEALTH

Clinical Commissioning Groups – There are 3 in the Tatton CLP area

These hold the purse strings for all health matters in our area, including those at our local hospitals and for their patients who attend hospitals further afield.

A          All members of the public can attend Eastern Cheshire CCG Meetings which always have a space of 10 minutes at the front of the Agenda for members of the public to speak. Once every two months there is also a 30 minute slot at the end of Governing Body meetings, where most of the Governing body remain and a friendly discussion on public aid and concerns takes place between the Governing Body and members of the public who have attended. This is a very useful meeting. Meetings rotate between Poynton, Congleton, Macclesfield and Marthall. The next meeting of the Governing Body will take place on 22 February 2017 at Macclesfield Town Hall. (time to be confirmed) Link to Agenda here: https://www.easterncheshireccg.nhs.uk/Meetings/agendas-and-papers.htm

i           Health Voice, run as a stand-alone from Eastern Cheshire CCG. “We meet every eight weeks at venues around Eastern Cheshire. All members of the public are welcome to attend. If you have a point to raise or wish a particular point discussed, please call Usman Nawaz on 01625 663 864 or email usman.nawaz@nhs.net or ecccg.healthvoice@nhs.netAll members of the public are welcome to attend, learn about the local health and care economy, drink coffee and have their say. These meetings take place in different places – Poynton, Marthall, Congleton, Macclesfield.. on a rotational basis. (not Knutsford, in spite of much requesting). Next Health Voice Meeting: 1.30-4 pm on 16 March 2017 at Congleton Town Hall. Link to papers here: http://www.echealthvoice.info/Meetings/

B & C   All members of the public can attend the joint Vale Royal and South CCG Meetings. There is no official public speaking time within the Agenda but Governing Body members are very approachable. Arrive early or stay late, or use the break time if you wish to raise any matter. Meetings seem to have currently settled in Nantwich. Next Meeting 2-5 pm 06 April 2017 at Conference Suite, Bevan House, Barony Road, Nantwich, Cheshire, CW5 5RD Link to Agenda here: http://www.valeroyalccg.nhs.uk/events

Hospitals – There are 2 general Hospitals + 3 minor satellites – and other units

D         Mid Cheshire Hospital NHS Foundation Trust – which has a membership Governing Body, running its own meetings. You could join as a member and – after the qualifying period – offer yourself for election to be a Governor. The Trust runs

a        Leighton General Hospital

b        Northwich Victoria Infirmary.

All members of the public can attend Mid Cheshire NHS Hospital Foundation Trust Board Meetings. There is no official public speaking time within the Agenda but arriving early and using the break times has always been found useful. Otherwise, there are reasonably regular Governor Elections: http://www.mcht.nhs.uk/about-us/news/trust-to-hold-2017-governor-elections/  Next Board Meeting at 9.30am on Monday, 6 March 2017 – Board Room at Leighton Hospital, Crewe. Board Papers at this link: http://www.mcht.nhs.uk/about-us/reports-and-publications/board-papers-and-minutes/2017-board-papers-and-minutes/?assetdet262006=15701

c        Central Cheshire Integrated Care PartnershipCentral Cheshire Integrated Care Partnership (CCICP) is a new and unique collaboration between Mid Cheshire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (MCHFT), Cheshire and Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation Trust (CWP), and the South Cheshire and Vale Royal GP Alliance.” This organisation now runs Community Nursing Care in Vale Royal and South Cheshire areas.

E          East Cheshire NHS Hospital Trust (not a Foundation Trust) –  deeply in debt. (£24 million+)The Trust runs

a        Macclesfield General Hospital,

b        Congleton War Memorial Hospital

c        Cranford Lodge Cottage Hospital, Knutsford.

d        Also runs Community Nursing Services across Eastern Cheshire CCG area only – having had Community Nursing Services in Vale Royal and Cheshire South CCG area, removed from its control by those CCGs which were dissatisfied with the service provided.

All members of the public can attend East Cheshire NHS Hospital Trust Board Meetings. There is no official public speaking time within the Agenda but arriving early and using the break times has always been found useful. Next Board meeting: March 30th 2017 –  3:00pm to 5:30pm, Boardroom 1, New Alderley House, Macclesfield District General Hospital, Victoria Road, Macclesfield SK10 3BL. Link to Board Papers here: http://www.eastcheshire.nhs.uk/About-The-Trust/Trust-Board/Trust-board.html 

F            Cheshire & Wirral Partnership NHS Foundation TrustMental Health Trust which has a  membership Governing Body which you could join. The Governing Body has its own meetings. You could apply to be a Governor.

Runs a large range of mental health services right across the Cheshire and Wirral footprint, often tucked into – or close to –  other health and care facilities. http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/services-and-locations/services/  Next meeting: 1.30 pm Wednesday 30 March 2017 in The Board Room, Trust HQ, Redesmere, Chester. http://www.cwp.nhs.uk/about-us/our-board-and-governors/board/

G         GP Surgeries – many within Tatton CLP area

Additionally, every GP Surgery has a Patient Participation Group, which meets around once a month. Patients are encouraged to join in. Ask at your GP Reception.

Eastern Cheshire CCG Practices: 

Vale Royal CCG Practices

South Cheshire CCG Practices

NOTE

If we are to gain Labour seats at a local level, I’m sure you will agree that we need to be fully aware of how the local health, care, education, public transport, roads maintenance, etc. work in practice, within our area. The only way to do that is to go and find out.

**** Should anyone have improvements or information to report back please comment.

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