Busybody nonsense update

Charles Cowling

Christopher with his trusty arranger

 

A quick update on the attempt by Christopher Harris to persuade Woodstock council to abandon its requirement that  ‘all interments [of ashes] … must be arranged by an approved professional firm’

We foregathered in the council chamber. Green baize-covered table, mace thereon, oil portraits of worthies from various lost ages, Union Jack, evening sunlight streaming in, mayor with a Funeralworld capo’s chain, framed photo of the Annigoni portrait of the queen, noble fireplace, cabinet full of pewter plates — in short, a scene from Dad’s Army. Proceedings began with no preliminary welcome from the mayor and no explanation of the democratic process as it operated in this chamber. Half the council members sat with their bloody backs to us. It was the sort of event that makes tyranny look terribly attractive. 

Chris spoke very well in the teeth of a stentorian countdown from the mayor – “One more minute.” If the councillors listened they did so in a way different from you and me. They then voted to go into confidential session to discuss it all… and that was that. No news of a decision has come through today. We are none the wiser. 

 

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Chris
Chris
5 years ago

i just thought I would update the situation about Woodstock Town Council. Last year I exposed them as the parish council (town council is merely a subset of a parish council) who had gone into confidential session more often than any other in Oxfordshire. Out of 41 months they had excluded the public and press on 39 occasions. They started to exclude by quoting the Local Govt Act (1972) and when they tried, I refused to budge, as it was an Act which applies to unitary; district, borough, and county councils only: not parish/town. The council remains mostly comprised of… Read more »

David Holmes
8 years ago

Go4it! Only when these pompous people are challenged will they moderate their behaviour.

You will make an excellent parish councillor – shoot from the hip at every meeting – it’s exactly what these bodies (excuse the pun) need.

CH ak 'The Prat In The Hat'
CH ak 'The Prat In The Hat'
8 years ago

Dear All Thank you for your interests in this. Special thanks to both Charles ‘the Sheriff’ and the erudite John Bradfield. My theatrics had no effect on the course of Tuesday evening’s Meeting. The Council’s Agenda clearly states that the Councillors were going to exclude both Public and Press from the discussions, and no vote ended up being taken. One Councillor did state, on record, that it appeared that this matter had been of embarrassment to the Council and he felt there was no need to hold all of the discussions ‘in Confidential’. However, the Mayor was resolute in stating… Read more »

Jenny Uzzell
8 years ago

Its all very depressing. I do take Kingfisher’s point. Yes, the dressing up makes a point, but also starts off procedings with the clear understanding that you think they’re behaving like idiots….not likely to put you in a good position. Infuriating as it is, sometimes your best bet is to play the game…even if its a stupid game. Start off by giving the impression that you think they can’t possibly be saying something that stupid so this is obviously a silly mistake that can be easily sorted out. In my experience, jobsworths often respond quite well to that. Having said… Read more »

David Holmes
8 years ago

This is modern Britain! Secrecy still rules. 1998 – I was (very briefly) a County councillor. Thinking I should call in to introduce myself to my local Parish council – I decided to attend one of their meetings. On arrival I couldn’t help but notice that I was the only member of the public who had bothered to turn up. A couple of them knew who I was – my face had appeared in the local press and of course, on my election guff. To my amazement – they left me watching while they discussed some such vital issue for… Read more »

Andrew Hickson
8 years ago

It wouldn’t. Councils are very good at going into closed session when it suits them. Dressing as an undertaker will have seen to that. Why on earth dress as a ‘prat in a hat’ at a council meeting?

Charles
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Hickson

He has a penchant for the theatrical, does our Chris; and he was making the point visually that we are all funeral directors.

Andrew Hickson
8 years ago
Reply to  Charles

Yes, but in doing so he won’t have helped his cause. The gist of the original post is that the council are in the wrong. Why antagonise them with theatre?

Andrew Hickson
8 years ago

I disagree. Had he not antagonised them by dressing up, they may not have gone into closed session, so you may have had a more productive evening and an answer. Just saying.

Kathryn Edwards
Kathryn Edwards
8 years ago
Reply to  Andrew Hickson

‘antagonise with theatre’? Eee, you’re a hard man!

Andrew Hickson
8 years ago

I guess it’s that ‘class’ word creeping in again. There will be those who think it’s incredibly clever, witty and funny to dress up in top hat and tails at a council meeting. And those who don’t.