Friday, 13 July 2012

TDC Full Council July

After the Westgate by-election things come back to normal with TDC meetings. Full Council last night. It was announced at the start of the meeting there will be no recording of the meeting, so no webcast. Not too long after that the microphone system failed, so Councillors resorted to doing what they do best, shouting at each other…  

Before moving onto the agenda, I want to pay tribute to Margaret Sheldrick, former Council Chair and Birchington Cllr. I first met her about the same time as Brian Goodwin and she was Deputy Chair of NTCA at the time I was an Officer way back in about 2005. Fierce intellect and definitely didn’t put up with any messing about but with a warm humour, she was respected across the Chamber and a lovely woman. Even with the illness coming back again and again, she never let it show. A true example of what a Councillor should be.

The Hartsdown Skatepark petition was put forward first. Cross-Party support and all Councillors, Worrow’s abstention aside, voting in favour, Debate on this one revolved around whether it was possible to get this before the Cabinet meeting later this month or to put it to August's meeting. There seemed to be agreement to push hard to get it on the agenda for a couple weeks time. I don’t see why it should be a problem. Funding and Planning other issues but there was real unity on this one.

This is where the problems began. Members of the public (unless Im mistaken, Claire Mendelsohn) holding up print outs of “With Any Luck, You’ll Resign” while shouting “homophobes”. Eventually they were thrown out after refusing the Chair request not to interrupt the meeting. This was during the notice of motion (vote of no confidence in Worrow as Diversity Champion) which Labour and TIG voted against debating.  

On a debate about the Steam Trust it blew up again when Mick Tomlinson pointed out that Worrow had been using his phone in the Chamber during the meeting. Worrow claimed he was “reading the latest smears from the homophobes” and when understandably and rightly Tory Councillors complained about this he shouted “practice what you preach” and “plural, it was a plural”. However in a moment of true insight, he said that Labour was doing everything to “burden the ease” during the Leaders Report.

On Members Allowances, Council decided not to backdate it, but still to take the increase. It was revealed by Clive Hart during this debate that the underspend for last year was around £1.2m, something I will return to once Ive seen some figures for this, probably around Cabinet meeting time. Labour, TIG and the Independent Group voted yes while the Conservatives voted no. The point was made again that this increase in Allowances might encourage Councillors from different backgrounds to stand. I don’t think I need to labour the point too much but not once during the by-election did Allowances come into my thinking to stand and I doubt very much it mattered to any of the other 5 candidates. I don’t believe it matters half as much as Labour thinks it does.

So, another meeting filled with unedifying moments and the usual complaints about lack of scrutiny and due diligence. Goodee…

6 comments:

tony flaig bignews said...

Cheers James for your report, looks to me that Labour have yet to show any sign of doing much for anybody but themselves perhaps lining their own pockets with more of our money, is Labour embracing Ronald Reagan's trickle down economics.

Fill labours boots with our money and they may just stimulate the economy by then spending it.

The idea that they are encouraging people from differing backgrounds to stand for the council is clearly nonsense

I'm not John Worrow said...

Hello James,

I think your to young to remember this (you were probably about 6yr's old), but in the late 1980's there was a sort of a skate park at Hartsdown Park. It was on that large concrete area next to the north gate on All Saint's Avenue.

It wasn't there for long because the residents complained about the level of noise, as the concrete was acting as a giant amplifyer bouncing the sounds off and around the nearby residential buildings.

The council had the ramps removed and destroyed. Some time later, the indoor skatepark in St Peters openned up and everyone went there instead.

Anonymous said...

James the Council meeting was a disgrace, Tom King was not allowed to have his Motion debated by Clive Hart and Worrow's "Leaders" Report was cringeworthy, how much longer can Cohen sit beside Worrow listening to that drivelThe Tiggywinkles claiming they have no whip all abstained in the vote to give youth a decent skatepark, Worrow and Cohen also denied the youth of Birchington the same chance. The worrow rent a mob misbehaved in Council and had to be ejected. What a shambles. How much longer will Clive Hart put up with Worrow as quite frankly he does not need him now.

James Maskell said...

The Hartsdown Skatepark has been in poor condition as long as I can remember. This has been a very long time in coming. Next years County Elections have nothing to do with it, of course...

The last five minutes were pretty bad too, something I forgot to mention in the blog. Tom King and Will Scobie wished to speak on the Constitution changes and weren't able to get a look in. I suspect others might have thrown a comment in too had they the opportunity.

Tim Clark said...

Scobie not allowed to speak? Bizarre. I thought his every word fell from Mt Sinai for all to hear and endorse. What was Clive thinking?

Tom Clarke said...

You never know, Tim, but it might be getting close to the time for a sacrifice or, just maybe, the young messiah is seen as a threat to Herod's ambitions. Worse, his hair may have been perceived as prettier.