On Thursday evening I attended a meeting of the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor Local Area Partnership (LAP). These bodies used to be called Area Boards and whilst I agree with the principle of devolving power down to the most local unit possible unfortunately I have to say that the way Labour have forced the Area Board’s to be renamed and reorganised has not been a great success in terms of increasing local involvement. Despite the valiant efforts of all those involved in the meetings, especially the LAP Chairmen and Managers, the attendance by members of the public is woefully low. Only when a local issue raises the political temperature does attendance increase. Attendance used to be better under the previous Area Board system and whilst the idea of LAP’s may soung good in theory in practice I, for one, remain to be convinced.
The meeting on Thursday was held at Ramsbottom Fire Station and the highlight was undoubtedly a display by the fire cadets who are raising money to travel to the Czech Republic to represent the Country in a competition against other Cadets from across Europe. They performed with great skill and organisation and I hope they perform as well when they have their chance on the international stage.