The Bickerstaffe Record

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A bit of benchmarking

04.24.08 | Comment?

I’m coming to the end of my first year as councillor now so I thought I’d just have a quick look back at what I’ve been up to – it’s certainly been a full year.  One simple way to test my activity level is to count the number of problems/issues I’ve officially lodged with the Council and got action on.  These range from simple  calls for flytipping clearance and pothole repair through to complex issues demanding a great deal of work to resolve.  They don’t include issues specific to individuals where confidentiality is an issue, or more general local policy issues – they tend to focus on the physical and environmental.Simply counting the number of items I’ve raised is quite straightforward because all such items now have a reference number, and these are sequential.  Going back through the year, I find that I have lodged 58 issues to date (though some of these are actually multiple so could count as more if I was going to get pernickety).  These 58 make up a total of around 235 issues lodged across the whole of

West Lancashire. 

 So I’ve lodged 24.6% of all issues, even though I’m only one of 54 councillors.  Put another way, the average number of issues lodged per councillor is 4.35, and I’ve lodged 7.5 times as many as the average. 

Of course, it’s not quite as simple as that.  Labour councillors in Skelmersdale have found that, in areas utterly neglected by the Tory Council, reporting issues one at a time is simply not time or cost effective, and they wokr hard to get officers out on their patch to take up issues en masse (this is a service the Tory Council is seeking to withdraw quietly).  However, in Bickerstaffe I’ve found it quite useful as one way of getting stuff done -though certainly not the only way (strong letters straight to the Chief Executive don’t count in the figures).  

If I as a Labour rural councillor am doing this, it does make you wonder what’s going on in the rural areas with Tory councillors.

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