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Councillor Clive Patrick

Ward: Stalybridge South

Annual Report of Activities 2015/16

Participation at Council Meetings and Panels

This year I have been to all but two Full Council meeting. Unfortunately one Council meeting had a diary change and clashed with one of three Pension Training days that I was booked on and attended in Leeds. Due to work commitments I was also unable to go to a Special Council meeting that was urgently called to pass a report on Governance and Accountability Framework for Health and Care Integration. However, at this year's Full Council I made a number of contributions, one of which was to put a question in the budget debate.

This year I also sat on the Place Scrutiny Panel. During this municipal year I attended panel meetings where we received a large number of reports from various senior council officers and included amongst others, reviews on winter road maintenance, an update on the Ashton Pinchpoint Scheme, street cleanliness and dog fouling and the bin swap programme. We also heard Executive Responses to the Grounds Maintenance report. During all these meetings I am proud of all my contributions to the discussions and feel I added valuably to the discussions.

As mentioned above, my other main responsibility was to sit on the main board of The Greater Manchester Pension Fund. I took on this responsibility with some trepidation because I have little experience of the topic. However, I also know that it is recognised that it takes at least two years to get some understanding of the subject. Therefore I was very pleased to take up the three days training in Leeds put on by The Local Government Association. Apart from the main board of the pension fund I also sat on the Pensions Administration Employers Funding Viability Panel and the Pensions Administrations Working Group Panel.

My last panel on which I sit is the Carbon Reduction Panel. Unfortunately due to work commitments I was not able to go to two panel meeting and two others were cancelled. However I was able to go on the members fact finding trip to the Greater Manchester Waste Disposal Authority site at Runcorn which was very interesting and helpful to members of the panel.

Participation at District Assemblies

After my re election this year I was very pleased to be able to regain my place on the Stalybridge District Assembly. Unfortunately, however, we have now been told that DAs are being stopped after the last one of this municipal year. I believe that this is a mistake because they have always provided a good channel of two way communication between the public and the Council.

During this municipal year my contribution to discussions has been varied and I feel pertinent trying to hold both the Council to account and providing a conduit through which the public can speak. In the year we have covered many subjects from health and wellbeing of the public, to recycling, to dog fouling and Britain in Bloom. The most heated debate was actually at the last DA held up in Mossley when two reports on proposed parking restrictions had to be discussed. On this occasion the DA was attended by two groups of residents of the areas that would be affected by any change in parking.

Participation on Outside Bodies and Partnerships

Being an opposition Councillor, my representation on outside bodies is limited. However as I have reported above I do sit on the Board of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund and two of its working panels. I was very nervous about sitting on these panels when I was first appointed because the subject is far outside my comfort zone and experience. This is why I was very pleased to take up the offer of three days training in Leeds put on by The Local Government Association. I now feel more equipped to participate, if I am reappointed to these panels next year.

My position as a Councillor also involves attending the Stalybridge PACT meetings. Stalybridge South is I understand the only Ward in Tameside that still holds Police And Community Together meeting involving the Police, New Charter, the Fire Brigade, the Ward Councillors, various council officers and other partners. Unfortunately half way through the year when New Charter closed it's shop in Stalybridge we lost the use of the office where we met. Now however, after a couple of months gap a new location has been found and these valuable meeting have reconvened on a monthly basis.

During this year I have also attended a few residents meeting and also a consultation meeting with the National Grid. Apart from these meetings I was determined, with my change in position within Tameside, that I would continue to sit on two residents groups within Stalybridge North and the village of Carrbrook where I live. Hence I have continued to attend the Carrbrook Conservation Committee meetings that regularly meet to discuss planning and conservation proposals within the Conservation Area of the village. I also sit as Vice Chair of the Carrbrook Residents Committee which also caries out valuable work in Carrbrook.

Constituency Work

As a Councillor I am contactable through phone, email, email via members' services or by CRM. This year I have helped and given advice to lots of people and referred a large number of constituents through to council officers. Most of the questions have been about planning issue and problems with service cuts. Many of these have unfortunately been about the lack or late collection of household rubbish. This year I have also had to deal with a number of questions from residents of Carrbrook, in Stalybridge North. Although this has put me in a difficult position I feel that it was only natural for people in my old ward to seek advice.

Members Advice Surgeries

My Stalybridge South colleagues and I have one surgery a month at Stalybridge Civic Hall which is open to any constituent who wants help.

Training and Development

I have been to most of the members training evenings at Dukinfield Town Hall, in fact only missing one or two when they clashed with work commitments. The most interesting of these training sessions were on the future effect on the council's budget cuts, a talk by the Interim Mayor of Greater Manchester and the new collective provision of Social and Health Services. Also, as I have said above, I attended three days of Pension Training in Leeds to help me understand my new role on the GMPF working groups and board.

Achievements during the Year

My achievement this year has been to get to know my new ward and understanding the different range of issues faced by residents. I have done this through visiting residents groups and talking to people face to face around the ward.

Also during the period I was not a Councillor and at the very beginning of this tenure as a Councillor the internal structure of TMBC has changed as TAC was cleared of all personnel preceding the buildings demolition. Therefore one of the greatest challenges facing me this year has been to get used to having officers and offices spread all over the borough. However, I feel that I have readily got used to the new way of working.