The lack of news in August may be nothing new but in the online era it is more starkly revealed by what our local authorities are (or are not) doing.

The online calendars on council websites show how few public meetings, which you might think are central to the democratic process, are deemed necessary this time of year while there are holidays to be had.

Wokingham and Swindon borough and Oxford and Milton Keynes city councils seem to be carrying on relatively normally but in Slough, where residents might expect a little extra effort since its financial disaster, there is a completely empty meetings calendar for August.

At Woking, the latest financial basket case, the meetings calendar for this month shows a total of three. Perhaps we should be grateful that one of those covers its improvement and recovery plan.

However there are different priorities at Surrey Heath Borough Council where the previously-empty calendar now has a planning committee meeting. There is just one item on the agenda and the applicant is the council itself. The agenda reveals the council is seeking advertisement consent to fly the Progressive Pride flag at Surrey Heath House.

In Oxfordshire, where the climate emergency has been occupying the minds of county councillors for years, there is a distinct lack of urgency this month.

The last meeting at which Oxfordshire County Council sought to correct rising sea levels and the Earth’s temperature was its ‘delegated decisions by cabinet member for climate change delivery & environment’ meeting on June 22. The next will be September 7. This is obviously an emergency that can wait.

OCC’s online calendar for council committee meetings this month shows there were plans for just one – the planning and regulation committee. And it was cancelled.

One wonders where all the elected members flew off to on holiday. Perhaps they took the train to Bournemouth, rather than add to the global boiling they blame the rest of us for.

Mind you, as one of the more unhinged councils, OCC’s meetings are rather inefficient anyway. A monitor in the council chamber indicates when the committees have to take breaks because there is too much carbon dioxide in the room, one of those First World problems that affect councils but not private businesses.

In the property world, we hear much about the lack of resources in planning departments, which is not surprising given the increasing amounts of red tape, although much of it is green tape nowadays.

No doubt the cry will be that they and their elected overlords are entitled to holidays. And no doubt they are.

But if, as the Mayor of London and many others tell us, the world is on fire, then, come August, are their holidays more important than the climate emergency that councils, Governments and middle-class protest groups scream at us about? It seems so.

Image shows a meeting in the council chamber at OCC where a monitor is fitted to measure carbon dioxide levels.

* Note – opinions in our views section are those of individual contributors.

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