Folkestone & Hythe Greens, Labour & Lib Dems failing the people of our district.
A motion is not something you do while sitting on the privy reading the morning paper online via your tablet. No! A motion is a request made by a councillor for an issue to be discussed at a Council Meeting and for a decision to be made. There are similarities though regarding the end product of a motion.
Since the local opposition party Cllrs, Labour (6), Green (6) and Lib Dems (2) were elected on May 2nd 2019, there have been ten motions at full Council. Two have been brought by Cllr Prater (Lib Dem), seven have been brought by Cllr McConville (Lab) and one by Cllr Treloar (Green). Only two of these ten motions have been successful, two.
One the motions on last nights agenda brought by Cllr Prater was to revert to a committee structure to give individual Cllrs more say, rather than power being held in the hands of the Cabinet (7 members), lead by Cllr Monk. Cllr Prater’s motion failed as it was amended and the amended motion brought by Cllr Monk was successful.
However, this was very ironic. Both Cllr Prater and Cllr McConville are leaders of their party groups in the chamber, yet have not given other Cllrs the opportunity to put a motion which does not seem very democratic at all, one might say it is the pot calling the kettle black.
Also none of the opposition leaders, Cllr McConville, Cllr Prater or Cllr Whybrow ask the public or their party members to submit potential motions to them. Again excluding the public and their party members any potential say. It is all well and good to say that Cllr Monk current Cabinet system stymies debate and involvement, but so do the opposition leaders by denying their members and the public any involvement.
There was a lot of talk about the purchase of Westenhanger Castle at full council last night, yet not a single opposition Cllr was prepared to spend £3 on buying the title deed for Westenhanger Castle. If they had they would have discovered the price stated to have been paid on 16 August 2019 for the land, was £2,9 million. Yet opposition leader Cllrs McConville and Prater expressed their disgust in the local press at the purchase of the Castle on the 22nd August, a full seven days later after the Council had purchased it. The information was in the public domain and they act surprised all because they could not be bothered to spend £3 pounds. The Greens remained tight-lipped on the matter.
Also a member of the public, who is also a Vice Chair of the Folkestone & Hythe Labour Party, Chris Deane (pictured), asked a question about Air Quality (Question 4) mentioning monitoring near the new Aldi site on Dymchurch Rd, Hythe. If he had bothered to do his homework, which he didn’t, he would have discovered that air quality info, in the public domain, shows air quality near the site has grown worse slightly between 2017 and 2018 (Martello Cottages Hythe).
Our opposition Cllrs are repeatedly failing with their motions, eight out of ten motions lost prove that. They are failing to do basic homework/research to combat the Tory opposition with facts and evidence.
Being a Councillor is NOT rocket science. It is about doing lots of reading, lots of research, and preparation – proper planning and preparation prevent piss poor performance – alas opposition Cllrs are not preparing, hence their continuous failures.
From the farce that was full council last night, we do not suspect our opposition Cllrs to bring about any democratic changes for the people of this district any time soon. Plus we begin to fully understand why there is a massive disconnect between the public and politicians of all tiers of Govt, it is because eighteen of our Cllrs have failed to declare who paid towards their election expenses. These Cllrs continue to sit in our chamber and pontificate about all and sundry while committing a criminal offence. Alas, as our Prime Minster discovered just this week, NO-ONE is above the law.
The Shepwayvox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime
The tactic of bringing motion after motion at full council by the opposition groups hasn’t worked. Surely it is time to change it for a more productive way of working for the residents of our district.
Having endured watching three full council meetings via the webcast, (I deserve an award) it’s clear that too much political point scoring is happening in the council chamber. The opposition should come up with a new strategy as people like me – an ordinary voter are seriously turned off by their silly games. I do not like the Tories nor did I vote for them, then again I did vote fore the shower of sh*te that is our opposition. I won’t make the same mistake twice.
The only sensible thing at full council – I watched the webcast – last night was Cllr Jim Martin’s announcement that the Woodland Trust is prepared to donate 900 tress to plant in our district.
Cllr Monk’s response that the Council would find the land for these tress to be planted on demonstrates how working together can achieve beneficial results for us all, by sucking Co2 out of the air, and improve the environment in the district. Win win as I see it.
It would be interesting to know what training/induction is provided to newly elected councilors. Also, are experienced councilors given refresher training to ensure that their knowledge is up to date? It they prefer to rely on the officers they will be led up the garden path time and time again. Councillors should remember that information is power.
Our Council is just a reflection of the political mess that is our parliament. Yaboo politics, grandstanding and the people of the district all but forgotten.
Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best, so says Otto von Bismarck. However, the opposition shambles – which it is – have not attained much so far, nor do I suspect they will. I hope I am wrong.