The blogsphere has been pretty active with a lot of talk and back and forth action therefore this blog is quite a bit longer than originally planned.
While it’s understandable that the ousted Conservative Group will feel annoyed at what’s happened, the fact is that it is now the Opposition and the sooner they adjust to this new situation the better. The talk on other blogs started off as banter but as the debate post the car parking press release showed, it’s now spilling over into the sort of thing which I’ve complained about in the Council Chamber. This baiting of people is childish and needs to end. It does no one any good apart from Labour who can sit back and enjoy the spectacle. The Conservative press release was fairly light on detail and looking at the resultant debate more facts are needed, so we should really wait to see how Labour’s plans lie alongside its updated budget plans due soon.
Did Cllr Worrow ask for a Cabinet position? Does it really matter? The tone of the denouncing has been OTT and the critics should save their energies for the real battles ahead. Cllr Worrow has rolled his dice and done what he feels is in his best interests. I don’t know him that well but I think it was a big mistake, short term gain for long term mistrust.
Despite what I have said above about saving energies, he posted an entry on his blog accusing the North Thanet Conservative Association of supporting a homophobic Councillor. This entry has since been deleted but the allegation was made nonetheless. Now, I’ve met my fair share of Thanet Cllrs and spoken to most of North Thanet’s Tories. I know Cllr Worrow will come across this blog. I want to know which Cllr he is talking about and which people in the Association supported him. If Cllr Worrow is unable or unwilling to name these people, then he should withdraw his accusations. Given he has now set up a Facebook Group “Thanet Campaign Against Homophobia In Politics!" which originally included racism in its title, clearly he has not dropped his allegation, therefore I want to see him come clean about who he is talking about. If what he was talking about is right, he should have no fear in naming these people.
The news emerging today of Flybe’s decision to stop flights from Manston will definitely require some attention from Councillors. With less operators using the airport, more doubts are placed on the requirement of night flights. As Labour has already stated that it will implement its manifesto commitments from earlier this year, this news is surely another nail in the coffin of night flights. Some serious thought is now needed as to the airports future.
There are genuine debates to be had about the change of administration that have nothing to do with Cllr Worrow (really!!). I didn’t report it in the Hart’s Changes post but Cllr Jo Gideon made a very strong point about the fact that the funding streams are being directed to encourage growth rather than to simply spend on deprivation. This debate saw the biggest difference in thinking between Labour and the Conservatives and is something that is worth mulling over. Another similar debate will spring up relating to the reform of the Business Rates regime to allow some local adjustment. These are debates which actually do matter to locals and I hope more attention is paid to these issues rather than the actions of one Councillor.
Earlier today Cabinet and Shadow Cabinet members made their way to Hartsdown Park as part of consideration of leases for the Margate FC plans. I really don’t understand what the problem is. A Council would have to be mad to refuse a lease, so the debate is over the length of it. Again the length matters little because no council would grant a lease for say 25 years but not renew it once that period ends. To the fans this sounds like another barrier being put in front of them and on a base level it’s strange. The Council granted planning consent for development without a sniff of trouble but might refuse a lease? Really??