Thursday, 18 February 2010
Civic Center Council Meeting.
Today marked the day I actually sat and listened to politics for more than an hour. Albeit my mind did trundle off every so often but I was generally surprised that at least two of the topics at hand I did find interesting.
First things first; pinstripes and un-ironed suits were the name of the game in this chamber. Bar one woman who was in flaming orange (and looked entirely lost throughout the whole procedure) the primary colors were without a doubt, blues and greys. Perfectly matching the chairs, walls and drapes; my bright green jacket would have fared better in the house of commons but I was just destined for higher things.
The general things discussed were of course mainly to do with my wonderful home of Southampton; which was no surprise since the meeting was conducted in Southampton's civic center. The topic kicked off with Declarations of Scrutiny. Since those involved were nice enough to take the time to explain it to us; a Declaration of Scrutiny is when judgement is passed on another persons decision. This is since laws dictate that a person cannot "scrutinize" a decision they made themselves. The hour and a half kicked off with a debate over whether the recent charity event of selling artwork to raise money had actually benefitted anyone? There seemed to be some confusion over whether the artwork was theirs to sell in the first place and where most of the raised money had got to. Very shady stuff; until we moved onto the development of a new Sainsburys in Portswood.
For me personally I liked hearing their developmental ideas for my area-for instance an old pier which has been a landmark through my nineteen years, is in talks of being turned into a hotel. Nightclubs I used to and still fairly often frequent are targets of anti-social behavior; this topic in particular kept making me want to raise my hand and make a point. All these men, falling asleep and gazing around the room-were VERY behind the programme when it came to matters I believe the public would be interested in. Such as anti-social behavior on our doorsteps. They've only just realized that The Square (an infamous nightclub on the highstreet) is one of the worst places for violence in town. And they appear to rely to much on statistics. They did all agree that crime has fallen to 23% over 10 years, but left it limply at "of course some areas are worse than others". Next topic!
Although some interesting ideas were raised for certain problems, like the development of a new Sainsbury's opposite the Waitrose in Portswood. This was very exciting news for them; it involved heavy traffic and the question-"will it draw people to the old highstreet? or from it?". The combatant approach was an idea one man had heard from China, in terms of small businesses...And then I lost the plot but he was most definitely on the ball and I admired his league of inspiration.
Needless to say; I appreciate what they do in terms of their zest for all things development and traffic but, this meeting in particular, just seemed entirely pointless. I know for a fact that the ideas they put forward in those meetings, never get put into reality. "You know you're from Southampton when you've been waiting for an ice rink from the council which they promise every year!". (It's a Facebook group) but it's true. They like to voice their opinions but you know it doesn't amount to much. I have never been more uninterested in gossip.