Climate Change: Cllrs Will Be On The Wrong Side of History

On Monday we wrote about the Otterpool Park working group meeting behind closed doors. Later that day the Shepway Green Party (SGP) released a statement which reads:

  • Obviously we would prefer that these sorts of meetings [Otterpool Working Group] are held in public whenever possible but as the opposition we are not in a position to make that happen. After much discussion within our group we have decided that we should take the opportunity to attend working group meetings so that we are better informed about what the council is doing.

However, SGP forgot to inform the public of the terms of reference and rules for a working party; which among other things state:

  • Formal votes should therefore be rare with decision of the Working Group taken by general consent.”

  • “Those present will keep the discussions of the Working Group confidential unless the Working Group decides otherwise.”

As we understand from those present at the Otterpool Park Working Group, there was no vote or general consent to decide to disclose the discussions of the working group, therefore the discussions remain confidential through choice.

When the previous Council ( 2015-2019) set up the Princes Parade working group, Cllr Whybrow in her capacity as a member of Save Princes Parade made public statements about that working group not being democratic, not open, not transparent. Now members of the Green group she leads are behaving in exactly the same manner. Her Green Party group are guilty of the very thing of which they accused the previous council of.

The Shepway Green Party who espoused more democracy, more openness and more transparency in their election campaign  which is made clear by Cllr Whybrow in the short video above, wish to conceal information from the public about the discussions of the Climate & Ecological Change Working Party. What is so secret about climate change that our Cllrs need to discuss it behind closed doors?

On Wednesday the 24th July our Council voted to recognises that we are in a climate emergency. It was agreed that a Climate & Ecological Change Working Party (pages 10,11 and 12) be set up.

Cllr Georgina Treloar (Green) efforts should not be hidden behind closed doors.

Are our Cllrs going to be on the wrong side of history by becoming the first Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group to keep discussions confidential? If so wouldn’t this be hypocritical and a betrayal of our children?

Will SPG Cllrs and their opposition bedfellows force a vote or find a general consensus to disclose the discussions of the Climate & Ecological working group, or keep them confidential? With the evidence we have they’ll discuss these important issues behind closed doors. It is NOT necessary.

We expect closed doors and secrecy from the Tories, but from those who campaigned on a platform of more democracy, more openness and more transparency, Greens, Labour & Lib Dems, we do not.

Open the doors, open the discussions and set the information from the Otterpool Park Working Group and the Climate and Ecological Emergency Working Group free, as these issues affect us all.

The Shepwayvox Team

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8 Comments on Climate Change: Cllrs Will Be On The Wrong Side of History

  1. A Save Princes Parade Member // October 9, 2019 at 10:48 // Reply

    As a member of the Save Princes Parade group, I was never comfortable around Cllr Whybrow and certain other people. How they huddled together and kept other members away from the details as it was “too complicated for members to understand and needed simplifying”. I found this patronising and I personally found Cllr Whybrow a womam of little substance

  2. The hypocrisy by Cllr Whybrow and the Shepway Greens is quite outstanding. She can’t have her cake and eat it. She can at least try to have these discussions opened up as you suggest, but it appears she and her members have not even bothered to try. What a betrayal of the people. I for one will NOT be voting Green again.

  3. A Labour Party Member // October 9, 2019 at 12:31 // Reply

    All the parties who will be present at the Working Group could surely find a consensus or have a vote on opening up the discussions. If the opposition fail to do so, this might indicate how they would behave if they ever were in outright control of the Council. As the piece says, we expect secrecy from the Tories. However, for those newly elected Cllrs who promised something different,have they made false promises with only one thing in mind, to be elected and feather their own nests?

  4. I don’t trust any of them at all. They say and do anything to get into power then to cling onto it. Look at Labour’s stance over Oportunitas prior to the election – get rid of it. Now they are in power the leader of their group is taking the Council shilling. That’s hypocritical. This Whybrow woman, and the fella Prater are just like Monk, keeping secrets already, nothing has changed and nothing will change.

  5. Hythe resident // October 9, 2019 at 15:08 // Reply

    There seems to be a running theme of sniping, negativity and cynicism about the opposition councillors on Shepway Vox recently. For goodness sake lets give them a chance before knocking them down!

    Most are new to the role of being a councillor and have been finding their feet in dealing with complex matters and procedures these last few months. Things may not always be done in the way we would like and there are limitations in what they can realistically achieve in opposition but I for one am very glad and grateful we have them there to put the Conservative led administration under scrutiny. Thanks

    • shepwayvox // October 9, 2019 at 15:32 // Reply

      They should have hit the ground running. It’s evident they do not read all the documents prior to meetings. Some have sat in the chamber for five months and not said a single word other than vote for or against a motion in a recorded vote. As for Climate change, yes lets wait give them more time, while the district’s air becomes more polluted, while the council’s carbon footprint grows. Hmmm, yes lets give the luvvies more time.

  6. A disgruntled green voter // October 9, 2019 at 15:28 // Reply

    Despicably dishonest, they lie through deliberate omission.

  7. doggerbank56 // October 10, 2019 at 16:21 // Reply

    They should remember what happened to Nick Clegg and his fellow MPs’ at the last general election. Most voters are not interested in the minutiae of local politics but, they do remember some things. Making a clear commitment to do something and then to renege on it is not something that will be forgotten.

    Perhaps their desire to be on the inside track and to participate in decision making has overcome the previous stance of the local Green Party councillors. The problem is that any decisions taken behind closed doors will be assumed to have been approved unanimously. If they turn out badly for those affected by them everyone in the working group will be tarnished by association even if they had objected to a particular decision.

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