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 qualityinfo, 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.
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