Wednesday this week was the last full council meeting of this calendar year.
The minutes will be published at www.liverpool.gov.uk shortly but here are a few bits of news from the evening
It felt a lot better tempered than usual which has to be a good thing. Nothing wrong with lively debate but name calling and general abuse is not a good thing. We are planning to experiment with webcasting Council meetings and actually some of Wednesday's debates would have been a good case study of how this might work.
Some controversial,or potentially controversial, stuff came up.
Firstly we had to make a decision on the PCT's request for Liverpool to give an 18 certificate to new films being shown in Liverpool cinemas which showed smoking (apart from those showing smoking in a negative light). The PCT had done quite a bit of lobbying on this. In the end the debate was heavily weighted against (more than I had expected actually). I spoke against as I have been worried about this proposal for some time now. It was defeated (although its fair to say there were supporters on both sides of the Chamber).
Then there was a debate about governance. The Government has said that Councils have to make a decision by the end of the year on whether to hold a referendum on an elected mayor or whether to adopt a revised Leader and Cabinet model. Virtually everyone who spoke was in favour of the Leader and Cabinet model. There was a bit of a debate about the number of Councillors and whether or not elections should be every four years or in thirds as they are now. The vast majority thought that four yearly elections would cause quite a few problems and that having elections more regularly gave people more of a chance to have their say.
Among the motions for debate was one from myself and Cllr Steve Radford about ID cards. I posted the text in an earlier blog. We wanted to make sure that Liverpool City Council did not co operate with the government in its latest attempt to roll out ID cards ( saying its voluntary and doing the soft marketing before actually making them compulsory). The motion was passed. Actually no one voted against which was a bit of a welcome surprise I have to say.