At a meeting of Full Council of Essex County Council (13th October), the Liberal Democrat group forced the Tories hand over encouraging more residents to get involved in volunteering and giving more publicity to voluntary groups across Essex.
Liberal Democrat Cllr David Kendall (Brentwood South Division) moved a motion calling on the County Council to draw up plans to launch "2011 The Year of the Volunteer across Essex". The Tories responded by announcing they had already drawn up plans to increase volunteering across Essex in 2010. This news came as a surprise to many members on all sides of the chamber who had no idea that the Council had any plans to promote volunteering in the pipeline.
Cllr Kendall said:
"I am delighted my motion prompted this response from the Conservative administration and forced them to take some action now on this very important issue.
"The volunteers and voluntary groups we already have across Essex do a tremendous job for our local communities but I want to see the County Council doing much more to get more residents involved and also actively promoting those voluntary groups that currently exist.
"I will now be studying the Tories plans to increase volunteering to make sure they really do deliver for the people of Essex".