Friday, 9 December 2011

Hart's Changes

So, we have a Labour administration in TDC, something new for me, since I came to politics proper just after the 2003 elections. Congratulations to the new Council Leader Cllr Clive Hart and Deputy Leader Cllr Alan Poole. A revealing meeting, showing a snapshot of what the next 3 1/2 years has in store. Change has definitely come to Thanet, that’s for sure. Whether it’s what is in Thanet’s best interests or not,  well, that’s another matter entirely, but we shall see in due course. Strange sat with bloggers extraordinaire Luke Edwards and Tony Flaig. Even stranger for a Tory Councillor to point us out during the meeting. You’re welcome, I guess!

A lot of shouting across the Chamber again, with multiple interventions by the same Members who have points of information, clarification, or obfuscation...pretty much whatever puts off real debate. I’ve seen it in the past and complained about it before with relation to Scrutiny and nothing has changed. From the sounds of things the audio system is ready to roll and we might expect recordings of the meetings to be placed online. I completely support this. I hope readers will look out for these recordings to listen out for how their elected Councillors speak. Is this the sort of thing YOU want to see? PM Questions on Wednesday afternoons is understandable but this is our local Council.

In the past I’ve avoided naming and shaming but this sort of thing needs to stop. It makes the Council look awful and if their residents saw this they wouldn’t approve. It’s childish and wholly inappropriate. I’m talking both about Conservatives and Labour here.  Labour Councillor Peter Campbell of Central Harbour Ward shouting at a Council Officer that the decision not to debate the motion on night flights during the July Full Council meeting was “corruption” was way out of line. He had no right to make that claim and no evidence at all.

What sort of change can we expect? Well, a motion were passed to set up a Members Working Group to work out how bad the issue of runaways is. This is an issue I personally care about, so when I see duplication of roles or functions, I don’t like it much. I want to see clarity, where the system is streamlined enough for there to be efficient and quality input.  I will definitely be blogging about this in the future.

John Worrow got his wish with his proposed free half hour car parking scheme. I don’t agree with this idea given how every High Street will want their version of this and the budget is stretched enough. At least it brought some light relief to Members who had been having an ideological battle over the future budget and who was or was not to blame for it. Pretty much everyone had a good laugh at Cllr Worrow, so at least there’s agreement on that issue…


ascu75 aka Don said...

James I have tried to view the council meetings online in the past and they are very borring so I doubt I will try and view last nights one. The stupidity of members needs to stop they are there to represent their voters and if they the voters saw how they behave at times I am sure come rellection time thing would change. TDC has been historicly bad and I see no change on the horizon.

Anonymous said...

Where can you watch the meetings online?

James Maskell said...

Looking at the TDC Youtube Channel the last webcast was February's Full Council meeting. I know there was talk of bringing it back and reports were placed before the Council in relation to this. With Cllr Will Scobie taking the lead and with a Labour leadership we might see some movement on this one.

Sadly Don is all too right. Unfortunately its a cultural thing and will take some time to change. If naming and shaming helps to do that, then its all good.