A week is a long time in politics – 9 Oct 16

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Said Harold Wilson and he was certainly right.

Monday started with a heated debate on social media about the Oxted Cinema and its Baby Club. Evidentially the Council was stopping the Baby Club watching Bridget Jones’ Baby.

All that had really happened was a licensing officer had talked to the cinema about whether it was appropriate to show that rating of film (15) to an audience that might include small children.

I have now asked for a policy to be agreed by the Licensing Sub-Committee to avoid this sort of situation in the future. No doubt we will debate when babies become toddlers and if there is any wriggle room within the law to support this great initiative and continue to show the type of film parents want to see.

Our aim as a council is to support local businesses, like the Oxted cinema, which is a great asset to our local community and a personal favourite of my family and I.

Louise, our Chief Executive, even took to BBC Surrey radio to explain the position. I popped in to the offices on Tuesday morning before work to find out how the interview went and discuss the issue with Louise.

Just as I thought Wednesday was coming to a close, I found out one of our members has left the Conservative group to become an Independent. I knew he had not been happy for some time, but I was really disappointed to find out from a local journalist and not from him personally.

One of the issues he is not happy about is the Local Plan and how he perceives the Council is handling this. What I would like to say is no decisions have been made about how many homes should be built and we are consulting widely before a final plan is drawn up, so please make sure you take part and have your say. Don’t forget our area is 94% Green Belt with creaking infrastructure and both of these will have to be taken into account before any final decisions are made.
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On Thursday I was back at the offices to spend time with Customers Services team. First I sat at the front desk with Jacob and Lauren, as they helped visitors coming into reception with a wide variety of enquiries. I then listened in on some phone calls answered by Tom. I came away impressed with their diverse knowledge of Tandridge and their excellent communication skills. Well done – they are a credit to the Council.

On Friday I decided I really needed to get better at using social media and spent a lot of time setting up accounts, including this one.

So please bear with me over the next few weeks, while I get to grips with Facebook and other sites. I am looking forward to talking to more of you online and having some meaningful discussions.

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