Ramsbottom. Tottington and North Manor Local Area Partnership

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.

Local Area Partnerships

I managed to get back to the gyn on Monday and then after doing some work in the office and helping out with some leafletting I attended the Bury West Local Area Partnership ( “LAP” ) meeting.
LAP’s used to be known as Area Boards until just before the last local elections they were rejigged by Labour so as to change the format and the membership. The whole point of Area Boards was to take democracy out to the different parts of Bury and give people the chance to discuss local problems at a local level. The meeting on Monday was held at Elton Primary School and I calculated that very roughly one person in a thousand turned up.
Last night I attended the Ramsbottom, Tottington and North Manor LAP held at Christ Church Walmersley. 19 people at the top table including Councillors, police, fire brigade, NHS, and several others but just 13 in the audience even if you count the local journalists and me. Local democracy in action. I did mischievously wonder if any one has ever added up what it costs for all those public employees to attend a meeting like that!