Tonight was the meeting of the Allen’s Rough Residents Association.
As a local councillor when I’ve known about any meeting I’ve attended because I believe it is vital to engage with local residents and if I can, deal with the issues that they raise.
That is why I was extremely disappointed that without any consultation with other members of the Community and Environment Scrutiny Committee on Walsall Council that Councillor Val Woodruff (the new Chair) without consultation with committee members chose to change the date to tonight.
We’ll excuse the fact England were playing but given that the scrutiny committee concerns community engagement, of which the Allen’s Rough Residents Association are a shining light in the Willenhall area, snubbing them is a disgrace.
I know Councillor Woodruff doesn’t attend their meetings but councillors such as myself who do find them invaluable with addressing local issues.
The excuse tonight from Councillor Woodruff seems to be that she has something else to do next week and other ward councillors can attend. (Myself and her were in the room so that leaves only one)
Ten minutes after this ascertion Councillor Ian Shires turned up late for the meeting meaning that no councillor for Willenhall North was attending the Allen’s Rough Resident’s Association meeting.
This can only be described as a shambles by the Walsall LibDems who by switching meeting dates have robbed the residents of Allen’s Rough of having their local councillors attending their meeting when there are very important and specific issues that need to be dealt with.
Willenhall North Labour & Co-operative Councillor Gareth Illmann-Walker raised this issue at the meeting and asked to be ensured that this shambles will not be repeated and that members of the committee will be consulted in future regarding any changes of dates so that they can be accommodated and such a cock-up not be repeated.