I wonder how many people knew there was a Charter Trustee meeting last Friday? It was at 7pm at the Mayor’s Parlour in the Guildhall. Did you know about it? If not why not?
The Charter Trustees are made up of the District Councillors who represent the Grantham Wards. They are tasked with maintaining civic traditions such as mayor-making and other ceremonies.
They work to promote charities and take part in fund-raising events.
But are they not much more than that? In my eyes, the charter trustees can be much, much more than they currently are.
They could drive Grantham forwards, setting the political agenda by being a champion for Grantham issues, by lobbying the District and County councils to promote Grantham’s interests, by putting Grantham first.
They can do all of this, and still maintain all of the civic traditions they currently do.
At the moment though, they don’t really seem to be active in this way. This brings me back to Friday’s meeting. The councillors attending the meeting received their invites on 22nd August. This is plenty of time to put the word about, post it on the SKDC website, send a press release to the Grantham Journal and forward emails and invites out to the public. But as far as I know, none of this was done. After checking with the Mayor’s Parlour, this is apparently because the public is only invited to one meeting a year. Hardly seems like they want the public there.
This might be because there is nothing on the agenda to discuss the development plans for the town which are now open for consultation; there is nothing on the agenda to discuss the promotion of the town for tourism, basically, nothing that enables the trustees to work as a group to promote the interests of Grantham.
In my mind, this is a wasted opportunity. Grantham councillors should be representing the interests of the people of Grantham, and if this means they work as a group to lobby SKDC and Lincolnshire County Council on the issues that matter, then they should, irrespective of political affiliation.
I have been reliably informed that the next Charter Trustee meeting is 5th January 2012 at 6pm. You might want to put it in your diary just in case they don’t bother to tell you.
by David Burling