a Road sign showing Cambridgeshire towns
a Road sign showing Cambridgeshire towns

With two Councillor’s Labour now qualifies as a ‘Political Group’ in Council, a visible measure of our recent success. Myself and fellow Labour Councillor Nigel Cathcart sit on three committees Scrutiny, Civic Affairs, and Licensing. As a member of the Scrutiny Committee I will get to learn about the whole range of council responsibilities…really useful for a newby like me! You can view papers for the recent Scrutiny Committee meeting here.

I am incredibly excited by the potential to influence policy development as South Cambridgeshire District Council now runs a pre-scrutiny process rather than simply rubber stamping decisions made by Cabinet. Getting issues included in the committee work plan for the year ahead has been the first stage in influencing thinking. Universal credit and Traveller needs are two important issues that I have managed to get on the slate.

On July 19th I proposed the following motion to Full Council :

‘That South Cambridgeshire District Council write to the Government Minister responsible requesting the immediate suspension of the Universal Credit roll out in South Cambridgeshire. This is now imperative following the National Audit Office report that raised the potential negative impacts on lives of claimants and the questionable economic rationale behind continued implementation. ‘

The debate that ensued included the admittance of complete ignorance about Universal credit from one Tory and plenty of genuine and well informed support from the Lib Dems…the motion was seconded by one of the Lib Dem Councillors in fact.

The letter has been sent to the Minister and we await her response with interest.

By Cllr Gavin Clayton

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