Monday, February 24, 2014

Local Democracy?

The following article appeared in Private Eye last week.

"A surreal lesson in how democracy works - or doesn't - from Herefordshire.

County councillors were unanimous earlier this month in reversing a cut imposed by the council's cabinet in the provision of free school buses for hundreds of children across the county.   Even the cabinet members voted against their earlier decision.   Yet days later the council announced: "This... does not change the policy position for home to school transport set by cabinet in December, which will take effect in September 2014."

Officers told gobsmacked councillors the cuts would go ahead without any further reference to them.   They explained that under local government legislation the decision of the cabinet, once made could not be un-done."

Even in parliament members can overturn a decision of the cabinet.   Why can't councils?

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Thirsk and Malton selection update

Martin Vander Weyer is a member of the Thirsk and Malton Constituency Association.   In the article printed below he sets out the role of the Party's Regional Office.   What were they playing at?   Are they so incapable that they let this breech of the Party's constitution go through.   Questions need to be asked and answers given.

Martin Vander Weyer is business editor of The Spectator:
"How dirty were the tricks?   The chief allegation was that in 2012, Chairman Steveney (a former cavalry officer and Jockey Club official) expanded the association’s executive council to include representatives of electoral wards that did not have active Conservative branches.   The panel quoted a rule that ‘representation should be “from each Ward or Polling District branch” (not from each Ward or Polling District)’, and said the rule was ‘designed to prevent an unrepresentative “takeover” of an executive council’, a phrase much quoted after the leaked publication; but the panel did not suggest Steveney had attempted such a takeover.   It simply said he had misinterpreted the rules and must go through the restructuring exercise and -reselection vote a second time.

Steveney and his colleagues’ rebuttal, now also in the public domain, never received a response from party HQ.   It pointed out that the panel had ignored the role of regional officials who advised on the restructuring, and the fact that a senior party agent, Maurice Cook, had not called it out of order when challenged to do so at the AGM."

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The members have spoken

In a ballot of the members of the Thirsk and Malton Conservative Association the result was a majority in favour of de-selecting Anne McIntosh as the Conservative candidate for the 2015 General Election.   The Constituency association  has 560 members and 88% of them voted.
Anne Mackintosh says this is a small cabal trying to get rid of her, but it does not look so small.   She has also said that she may fight the seat as an Independent.   Of course if she does so, against the official Conservative candidate she could find herself together with any Party members that support her, subject to disciplinary procedures of the Party leading to their expulsion from the Conservative Party
Thank heavens for the "wisdom of the crowd".