At yesterdays Full Council meeting, held in the Guildhall auditorium (again) due to resistant senior powers at the City Council and rudderless leadership from the Lib Dem administration, Conservatives and the Portsmouth Progressive People's group won the vote on reverting back to our established Full Council date schedule and back to holding meetings in our large council chamber.
The Lord Mayor held the casting vote and given the large sums of money spent on hiring the Guildhall main auditorium as well as a camera & tech crew (and being blasted with ice cold air for 'ventilation reasons') meant the Lord Mayor voted for reason and getting back to business and democracy.
Risk assessments by over-cautious council bods even showed that it was now possible to hold meetings back in the custom built Portsmouth Council Chamber (which is already equipped with TV, broadcasting facilities and IT for members) for reasons that we can only assume are political, the administration and others were again defeated.
Cllr Simon Bosher said, "It doesn't make any sense to be using the main auditorium costing the tax payers thousands when there’s a perfectly good council chamber upstairs that's been abandoned for close to two years for Full Council meetings. Nearly everyone in the chamber is double vaccinated, tested and diligent. We all know the pandemic has been difficult and people have been affected, but winning the vote to return to our normal full council schedule is a win for democracy and the city. We have to get the city council back to functioning for the city. It cannot continue to operate like this, Pompey needs to be back to business."
Cllr Scott Payter-Harris added, "Last night we heard about some of the unacceptable states of council departments from huge planning backlogs due to people working from home and needing to be in a central office location through to bin across Portsmouth North not being emptied for the best part of 2021 when they should be emptied by our contractors. Today the council issued a public apology over this, like they weren't aware of how bad this problem truly is. A sign of systemic communication failure and a failure of leadership by the Lib Dems."