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Sitting in on a Council Meeting

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It is absolutely ages since I sat in on a full council meeting. I think the last one was about 30 years ago. This one was the Midsomer Norton meeting that happens about three times a year. The reason for my attendance was what I wanted to give a balanced view about climate change, which compares the efforts made locally with recycling, saving energy with the overall dystopian world picture which was some reason I’m very interested in.

The meeting started at 6 PM with a surgery. During this time, anyone can come along and complain about anything and as we arrived about 6:15 there were two people complaining about motorbikes and noise adjacent to the community centre. They were assured that their concerns would be taken into consideration. About four Council members were in the room and we chatted backwards and forwards.

I was asked about how the allotments were going since I am chairman and I was able to report a full house. One of the Councillors offered me a glass greenhouse 6′ x 12′ free of charge. Gosh that will take some moving and could be quite dangerous but I appreciate the thought.

The mayor arrived and from that moment we were subject to the rules of the house which means that being members of the public we could only speak on invitation and had to be quiet and listen when the council was in session. The whole thing was quite good humoured and I found this not too difficult to comply with.

When the time came I gave a three minute talk on the reason why the climate change case was so flawed; I talked about behind-the-scenes financial interests and the compromise of people in scientific positions. I warned in advance that the subject was dreadful and I said I didn’t really want to even have to say it but someone had to. I said that the climate emergency was a fake, and it was unsupported by science. I really don’t know how many people entertained the ideas although they listened to me politely enough.

My remarks were then followed by those of the previous mayor, who said that, irrespective of the science it was necessary to become engaged in any activity that saves energy. We discussed the meaning of carbon neutral and pointed out the difficulty of achieving this in practice. A lady gave a list of local initiatives that were about sharing expertise, trading, bartering, saving energy, saving money and that was exciting to hear.

The committee decided to exclude the use of the term ‘climate emergency’ and chose to name an intended project in terms of active urban renewal.

At this point, we were invited to leave. It wasn’t quite in those terms, more like, “you’re free to go if you wish but you have a right to stay”. A quick look at the rest of the agenda made me realise that it was probably better to go, so back home we went.

I had a very pleasant day or is ‘pleasant’ the right word?   Challenging is probably better. With the aid of an electric chain saw at the end of a 12 foot pole I cut the overenthusiastic growing branches of a plane tree, which is in front of our bungalow.  I stuffed the results in the car. It’s amazing how much you can get in the boot of the car if you cut the branches into little bits. If they are all springy and bouncing around you won’t get much in.

Françoise went to the AgeUK as she does on Mondays. She looks after 15 or 20 older people. They were given advice about what to do if you caught a virus which was to wash your hands frequently, sneeze into your elbow, and one other factor that she has forgotten. That will defeat the virus, no doubt about it. The numbers in China do seem to be clocking up but so far in the United Kingdom, only two confirmed cases out of 350 tested.

There is the initial voting for the Democratic candidate to take on Donald Trump. Both men are in their late 70s and it makes me wonder what has happened to the party where they can find no one in their 60s, 50s, or even 40s. I think it’s moral bankruptcy all-round.