First meeting of the new four-strong city council Green Group and it went very well indeed. We almost fill a small corner of a Committee Room now! We covered everything from how totally opposed we are to any of the cuts we vote for, to hammering out some VERY SERIOUS POLICY POSITIONS.
First in the in-tray was the super controversial Resident Parking Zones. After some frank, open discussion and very serious debate, and with brilliant input from all our councillors, we agreed a consensus policy on the issue. Basically, on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, we are totally in favour of the Resident Parking Zones. We will meet again next week to hammer out what to do if there’s a fifth Wednesday in the month. On weekdays – except, obviously, the first and third Wednesdays – when the sun shines we are against the parking zones. On weekends, regardless of the weather, we think it should be left for the communities affected to decide.
We then had a vigorous debate about rainy days and Mondays, except – obviously – any rainy first and third Wednesdays and all days on weekends – but remain undecided.
We agreed to come back to the issue next week after George had made his mind up about it all anyway. We’ve also drawn up an EXTENSIVE COMMUNICATIONS STRATEGY on the issue to cascade to all Bristol Green Party members. It reads:
IT’S NOTHING TO DO WITH US – BLAME GEORGE.
Tried to pop in to see George afterwards but he was busy in a meeting with the very independently-minded MR PERRY FROM CLIFTON, so he asked me to come back tomorrow.
Popped back up to the third floor to see George this morning and bumped straight in to a beaming MR HOLT clutching a handful of BRISTOLIANs and shouting at me, “Have you seen it? Have you seen it? I’m in it!” I congratulated him and he skipped off to show ANGIE RIDGWELL. It must be said that being called by a girl’s name in The BRISTOLIAN may well turn out to be Peter’s crowning achievement from his time in the city.
Tried to see George but he was with Mr Perry again. Indeed Mr Perry was sitting in George’s Eames chair with his feet up on his desk while George appeared to be standing listening intently. In my opinion Mr Perry was very rude telling me to go away as they were busy running the city.
Tried to see George again. When I got to the third floor I could hear raised voices or, rather, a raised voice that sounded rather like Mr Perry’s. It was something to do with resident parking I think and the words “Stop dithering! Just bloody get on with it, you useless red-trousered old” something-or-other.
Mostly I could hear what they were saying, but I have never heard of a ‘STANKWAIN’ before, and it’s not in My First Illustrated Dictionary. When I tapped on George’s door he immediately opened it and shouted at me to – and even as I write this I’m blushing – “Eff-you-see-kay off and stop stalking me!”
Charming! After everything I’ve done for him. That’s the last time I iron his silk pyjamas as a favour before one of his late-night list-ticking sessions.
Decided it was time to start focusing on my new cabinet portfolio. Started with council housing today and explained in detail to the council housing boss MR PALMER how I wanted a wraparound strategy to retrofit our housing for the forthcoming environmental apocalypse in place ASAP. In the meantime I told Mr Palmer to set up a Twitter account to talk up solar panels and cavity wall insulation.
Mr Palmer said he thought his housing officers would be “thrilled” by my “creative approach” as it would make a change from all that depressing Bedroom Tax Spare Room Subsidy stuff. He also invited me to his leaving do, as he’s going next Tuesday. “Who’ll be in charge then?” I asked. He just laughed and said, “SEE YOU NEXT TUESDAY, GUS!”
Tried to find out today who’s in charge of the city’s council housing from next Tuesday. Nobody seemed very sure. Also bumped into my new Cabinet colleague MRS MASSEY in the corridor this afternoon. She was trying to find out who was now in charge of education as the excellent MRS HUDSON was also leaving. We both decided to call it a day and go to the cider bar at Eat, Drink, Bristol.
Attended the Reed Service at St Mary Redcliffe Church today. It’s a special ceremony for us councillors, and a great opportunity to dress up. Someone asked me if I was a Christian and I did my usual response of staring at the ground and shuffling about a bit before changing the subject. As it was the weekend, I just said, “I think the communities affected should decide on parking zones, don’t you?”
But George didn’t find it funny, though.