Thinking to the future under this Alliance administration, what might be the result?
followed this debate previously. As the Gazette is reporting, a new Officer is being looked for and that’s a high five-figure sum position. Where’s the money coming from and more importantly, is it sustainable?
EKO is finished. There’s no way EKO will survive with the Alliance so dead set against it. As for the downgraded Housing Intervention project in Margate, a tight rein is required in handling the portfolio of properties there and I would imagine Driver would be chomping at the bit to buy up every bit of land they could get their hands on and perhaps will use his OSP Chair to push for that with the new Housing & Planning Cabinet Member.
I am very worried about Overview and Scrutiny Panel. There are problems with OSP that are as much to do with the political winds as they are to do with the issues appearing before the panel.
Firstly the time was sucked up by Cllr Driver when he was on the Panel and while it is funny at first, when it becomes a recurring problem it restricts the Panel in its scrutiny role. With Driver as Chair, this is not likely to improve and with an Alliance majority on that Panel (the Alliance voted for the Conservatives to lose a Member there last night) this Panel is unlikely to bite the hand that feeds it and therefore Cabinet will be freer in its own hand. Driver did a long and winding speech at the last OSP meeting about what he would do and one of those included increased resources for the Panel. What form that takes is something to be considered at the next OSP meeting, Tuesday 29th May. Cllr Harrison supported him on that speech so there’s definitely going to be a bid.
For those wondering what reaction was when Cllr Worrow was nominated by Cllr Hart for Governance Chair, Cllr Tom King stood up and shouted at him repeatedly “Shame on you”.
Strange how TIG reports how Cllr Shirley Tomlinson was put aside for Shadow Cabinet. I thought the Alliance rejected her nomination for Council Chair last night in favour of Cllr Clark?
When I really think back on all this and consider all the change over the past 6 months along with a comment made elsewhere by Tom Clarke, it becomes clear that John Worrow is not the real Leader. Worrow has campaigned and been elected on centre right platforms (Council Tax for pensioners for example). The argument of Cohen’s disagreement with Groves possible Council Chairmanship was convenience. There is no way a Worrow-led TIG Group could form the Alliance. Driver on the other hand could. Ideologically it fits, not to mention sustaining Labour politically till the elections. Worrow is a paper leader, a lightning rod to the Conservatives frustration.
The downside, their fates are now linked. A left wing administration anchored by a Socialist, wanting to spend money as they like and hoping to mop it up the deficit with a Council Tax increase. An unbudgeted increase to Basic Councillor Allowances in the first minutes of this Alliance administration (EKJIRP will not refuse this). Who knows what the damage will be at the end of this.