Friday, 22 June 2007

Question Time - Aldershot

I had a dilemma yesterday. Attend a Council Meeting with little on the Agenda except an item to amend some byelaw's and more important a presentation to a good friend of ours Joan King for services to the Borough or attend the first ever Question Time in Aldershot (and first in the Borough). Well, agreeing that I would visit Joan after - if Council was finished by the time the programme ended, and having confidence that the Empress residents were well represented by fellow Councillors Patricia Hodge and Brian Parker, it was a no brainer!! It had to be Question Time.
Despite the small blemish to my 100% attendance record. And lets face it, there is more to being a Councillor than just attending meetings. I love getting out and doing things for my residents, which sometimes can be more important than a meeting. Also, one can often influence the decisions made in the Chamber through much effort and work outside the Chamber. I have to say some councillors with 100% record have achieved very little for residents. All that said - I would not dream of missing the Council Meeting where we discuss Alternate Week Collections. There are certain unmissable meetings! However, yesterdays meeting was definitely not in that category.
Anyway, Question Time was fantastic - congratulations have to go to David Phillips the Princes Hall Manager that has worked hard for a few years to get this programme. Let's hope they enjoyed their time here and want to come back. 150 local people were there (I might add that the public very rarely attend Council Meetings) all very interested in Politics. I met a few residents, and we all thoroughly enjoyed the evening. I got an opportunity to make a remark, which was supported by my fellow Conservative Boris Johnson MP - who was on top form as usual, and in touch with public feeling on every issue.

To see the programme go to the Question Time web site: or see the pod cast of the Aldershot programme which is currently at
The Council Agenda for the meeting I missed can been seen at
Do you think I did the right thing?


Tony said...

It was good to see you adding your voice to the calls for a referendum on the EU's Mk II constitution.

It was also fun watching Shirley Williams trying to untangle herself from her kneejerk condemnation of Salman Rushdie's knighthood.

David Clifford said...

Thanks Tony. It was great to see so many local people participating in debates about important national issues. And there was a clear message from Aldershot that the people of Britain deserve and expect a referendum on Europe, regardless of your point of view. I tried to add that we could save some money and have a general Election at the same time.... it is a disgrace that a modern country like Britain does not directly elect its political leader. It is outrageous we now have an unelected Prime Minister. It is time for change.