31 May 2009
28 May 2009
Within the local LibDem party, the ballot selecting the 2009 Derbyshire County Council candidate was held at the time the Councillors Gadd had secretly decided to defect.
In the full knowledge they were leaving the party for the Conservatives - but not revealing their planned defection to their colleagues - the Councillors Gadd cast votes in order to affect the internal result of the LibDem County Councillor selection.
Given all of the circumstances, the obvious and honourable thing would have been to abstain.
Councillor Jacqui Gadd has now come forward as the Conservative candidate for the same seat.
When Labour politician Sir Martin Doughty was around, a sharp letter to the press appearing over the name of Councillor Ian Huddlestone - in real life a postman - would always adorn any contribution from Sir Martin. Always dealing with the same issue although usually making nastier points, always with an identical writing style, invariably appearing right next to each other on the page, this spooky 'dual letter' phenomenon was downright uncanny.
But there has been no sighting of any published letter bearing the name 'Ian Huddlestone' for many months. Likewise, the formal business of High Peak Borough Council has been relatively untroubled by mentions of the H-Man, who claims expenses and supposedly represents New Mills East there for Labour.
Come on Councillor Huddlestone. You can deliver the letters: isn't it time you started 'writing' them again?
27 May 2009
The subject - dealt with in the confidential part of the meeting - was the transfer to Derbyshire County Council of Staffordshire Moorlands' property business and 'management facilities'.
The Moorlands Borough Council, based at Leek in Staffordshire, is considering outsourcing some services to a larger council. Fair enough. The mandarins at Staffordshire County would have been waiting for a call.
But Moorlands threw them a baffling curve. Under the label of 'being innovative', it is Derbyshire that's going to handle these, and many more, Staffordshire services!
Has Staffordshire County Council suddenly ceased to exist?
The company specialised in seeking out various opportunities for public infrastructure and development works.
Sir Martin Doughty, the Labour politician who passed away a few weeks ago, would have been disappointed. He embraced PFI nonsense with the same ardour as the City of London types who invented the idea.
Local people can of course assume that, in all selection processes for the choice of which High Peak town gets the new Courthouse, quiet and out-of-the-way New Mills will be considered on its merits.
26 May 2009
A merger is taking place by stealth and with no-one being asked. Staffordshire Moorlands Council is swallowing up its High Peak neighbour.
When were the High Peak's electors and council tax payers consulted about this freakish scheme? There are two key issues:
1) Why will the politicians involved not ask the High Peak residents - who are affected daily by this merger - whether they want it or not?
2) If one or other political group wants to streamline services and make economies - a most laudable object - there are at least two much better ways forward:
"Parliament has lost people's trust and we must win it back." Tom Levitt MP, 21 May 2009.
The first item of business on the agenda of New Mills Town Council's 2009 annual meeting was to choose the town's mayor.
Before the meeting, in addition to wearing his customary leather number, Lancelot was seen carrying a suit jacket into the town hall over his arm.
Onlookers were puzzled.
But the mystery was soon solved. Lancelot had got it into his head that he was to be the new mayor. He wanted to look smart when the chain was ceremoniously placed over the dignified head and the photographs were taken. Hence the suit was getting an airing.
But he'd spent much of the time since the 2007 local elections annoying many of the town councillors. He'd filed nonsensical complaints about councillors to the standards people, wasted valuable police time with a spurious and malicious complaint about a member of the public, pretended that the previous administration was not corrupt and dishonest, talked on practically every subject that was brought up at council meetings, and generally done the complete opposite of being genuine and winning friends and influencing people.
Lancelot had been so busy - with his seemingly permanent activity of showing-off to an audience - that he was blissfully unaware his personal behaviour meant he'd completely lost the support of many members of the council. So as he prepared to stand up to receive the honour, he was astounded to find the mayoral chain was to adorn the broad shoulders of another, nicer and more genuine candidate: Kevin 'Huggy' Hawley.
The shock was the first thing in living memory ever to render Councillor Lancelot Edgar Dowson speechless during a town council meeting. 'More of this please' say a few councillors who would like the meetings to end at a sensible time.
If Tom Levitt MP has any shred of decency, he will publish a full, unreserved apology for the remembrance day disgrace.
Political insiders have noted that Robin was a noisy critic of High Peak Borough Council until May 2008 when his loyalty and silence, obviously entirely co-incidentally, was bought around the time of the council mayoral appointment.
So farewell Robin.
The mayoral year following Robin's service runs from May 2009 to May 2010. This is the year in which a general election will be held.
Andrew Bingham is the Conservative prospective parliamentary candidate for er... High Peak