|St Mildred's Bay - Westgate|
I was in the Council meeting until late and immediately noticed on returning home that the tide was in, just after 10pm, three hours earlier than it should have been, which indicated the size of the surge that was pushing along the North Sea coast.
In the Chamber, it was a lively evening and it's hard to know where to start or indeed finish.
Among the highlights, were Labour Leader, Clive Hart's spirited denial that his administration bore any responsibility at all in regard to poor public perception of local politics and the Council. The Victorian prime minister Lord Rosebery said of the increasingly embarrassing Commons performances of Lord Randolph Churchill in the 1890s that ‘he died by inches in public’. So, too, Clive Hart, though he died by the mile yesterday evening as he conspicuously failed to grasp the size of the reputational problem facing the Council.
Instead and for almost ten minutes, he blamed the Conservatives back to the time of Cyril Hoser and read out a list of achievements, the greater part of which were not his own, believing that these would close the door on any criticism of his administration over the last two years. This led the leader of the Conservatives, Bob Bayford, to retort that Cllr Hart was "Smug self satisfied, arrogant and self serving; sanctimonious;" "finger-pointing hogwash."
The debate over the Standards Committee report raged-on for what seemed like hours, often during business that had little or nothing to do with it, as it kept coming back, with one Labour member or another suddenly popping-up and delivering a long and frequently emotional speech about their personal achievements on the front line of socialism. Eventually, Cllr Bayford, submitted a motion asking the Council to invite the Standards Committee to rescind their resignations and at long last, everyone agreed that this sounded like a good idea and so peace may have broken out by the time the Councillors trooped-out for some traditional mince pies in the Chairman's office at the end of the evening.
The Conservative Cllr Julie Marsen, attempted to bring a motion before the Council, supporting a future EU referendum, as this appears to be a subject very close to the hearts of voters in Thanet. The motion was firmly outvoted and kicked into touch by Labour in a narrow recorded vote, with the parliamentary candidate for Thanet South, Will Scobie among those rejecting any suggestion of giving people a say on our relationship with the European Union or renegotiating our membership. Given that we are witnessing the 'benefits' of uncontrolled migration in deprived areas such as Cliftonville and Margate, placing an immense strain on our local resources as a consequence, this was disappointing.
I asked of question of my opposite number, Cllr Alan Poole, "Can residents expect to have their rubbish collected efficiently and on-time between now and the New Year' and was surprised to receive a five minute answer, which I think could have been settled by a simple 'Yes.'
Cllr Poole reported that most collections were being dealt with on-time but tactfully identified a reading problem among local residents as an issue. I retorted that a printing error in the Calendar delivered to households didn't help and that a straw poll among my own councillors revealed that some were still not having their bins emptied. I realise that any new system presents a challenge but we still have some way to go to iron out the problems and Xmas is just around the corner.
|As predicted here first|
I have deliberately omitted Cllr Driver because I'm sure he will blog about himself without my help. This time, he wasn't thrown out but having confessed in response to a jibe from Cllr Hart, to being a 'Trotskyist' in the 1980s and resplendent in a 'hoodie' rather than a shirt and tie, he flounced out of the chamber before the end of his meeting, taking his small coterie of vocal supporters with him.
Finally perhaps, there was an empty place, once again, for Cllr John Worrow. When I asked Cllr Fenner where her protege was and whether we might ever see him again, she told me that I should be "Ashamed" for asking. It's obviously none of my business but perhaps his constituents in Birchington might like to know as he is still paid a generous allowance as the absent chair of the Council's Finance & Audit committee as well as being the Council's Diversity Champion. A statement perhaps, from his TIG 'Leader' Cllr Dr Jack Cohen would be polite but please don't hold your breath.
So that's it for now. There was of course much more and for the highlights, well, I'm afraid you will have to wait for the official video, out soon!