Wednesday, 9 February 2011

How NOT to win friends and influence people?

I never cease to be amazed at our council’s warped sense of serving the community. Four years ago we were asked to vote for the people who would represent OUR wishes and carry out the administrative functions in our locality. We will be asked once more in May to endorse these people again, or say “no you did not carry out our wishes”. Here are some of examples of their interpretation of “CARRYING OUT OUR WISHES”

The HOOT enquiry
Local residents desperate to save their tennis courts from asset disposal and development, organised an application to have the area designated as a village green. The council proceeded to employ expensive barristers at a cost to the taxpayer in excess of £20,000 to fight the residents in a public enquiry. Following that public enquiry at which the residents were unsuccessful in receiving village green status, the council then removed the land from asset disposal claiming some sort of “victory” that they acting in the best interests of the residents all along.

Elected Mayor
It was a statutory requirement that the council held a public consultation asking OUR views on what kind of future leader we wanted for the council. The statutory period of the consultation was not observed and required publication of the consultation was not adequately discharged. Not surprisingly a low response was received to the consultation, however the responses received had one thing in common, they all were in favour of an elected mayor.  At an extraordinary meeting which only took a few minutes all of these responses were ignored and a council elected leader was approved, on the grounds that the government may change the rules in the future. I just hope central government don’t mention they are considering the return of hanging or transportation!

Landlord’s Tax
Margate and Cliftonville landlord’s are being asked to cough up £500 per year in an attempt to kerb anti-social behaviour of their tenants. This would become a blanket charge on all landlords whether or not their tenants behave and no doubt if successfully extorted at Margate and Cliftonville it would be rolled out Isle-wide. The council and the landlords are already legally required to curb anti-social behaviour and there is no justification for a blanket charge across the board on good and bad landlords.

Is this really YOUR representatives working for YOU?


  1. Ken
    How I wish that there was some way to make the next elections count. This is a corrupt council, led by incompetent council officers, and needs to be cleaned out from top to bottom.
    And yes, I did mean that the council is led by the officers and not the other way round. This is at the heart of all the problems on this Island - the tail is wagging the dog.
    As an interesting aside, whatever council is elected in May will be illegal because of the unlawful way that the governance consultation procedures took place. We have the evidence to prove that the consultation period was not long enough, and as others have pointed out, everybody that did respond (and that was in large part because Michael Child drew attention to the matter in his blog)advised that they wished the elected Mayor option to be the desired outcome. I would argue that, if the council is illegal, it has no power to raise taxes and hence will have no money to spend.

  2. Well said, Andrew,
    There may be a way, watch this space in April

  3. Ken
    How can I get in touch?
    Michael Child has my email address if you want to contact me that way

  4. Andrew, Michael should have sent you details to contact me

  5. Thanks.

    As May approaches there needs to be a central location to call all candidates to account. At the moment this function is scattered across several blogs, with Michael snapping at heels whenever he can, Tony over in Margate and Simon putting his head above the parapet on occasions. The local press are worse than useless, only starting to highlight shortcomings when they perceive a wave of popular support (Clock Tower traffic lights is the last major one that springs to mind where the ITG took up the cudgel against KCC and TDC)
    I had a bit of input on Simons latest offering this afternoon - they all need to stop treating us like idiots

  6. Andrew, as they say at NatWest,"there is another way". Contact me to learn something of interest.