Tuesday, 14 December 2010

A day left to say if you want to vote for the leader of Thanet District Council.

You have until 5pm tomorrow 15th December to take part in the council’s leadership consultation, what the council are asking you is do you want to vote for who will be the council’s leader for the next four years at the May election? Or do you want the councillors to do it for you?

You only have to email one of the following two answers to Glenn.Back@thanet.gov.uk with your name and address so he can check that you are on the electoral roll and are eligible to take part.

1 I want a leader of the council elected by the people of Thanet.

2 I want a leader of the council chosen by the councillors.

This link takes you to the councils web page about this http://www.thanet.gov.uk/council__democracy/cllrs_democracy__elections/governance_models_consultation.aspx

The results of this consultation will be the basis on which the council decide what sort of leadership we will have, this link takes you to the officers advice to the councillors about how to make this decision http://tdc-mg-dmz.thanet.gov.uk/Published/C00000141/M00002146/AI00007769/$RevisedPoliticalManagementArrangements.doc.htm

Please pass this information on to anyone who you think may be interested.


  1. One final thought on the consultation. On Sunday I emailed all Councillors as well as the Chief Executive.I pointed out that, if as directed by the Minister the Mayor/Cabinet option was to be unaffected by the Localism Bill, then this was surely the most cost-effective option to take. The present model is not allowed and the Leader/Cabinet option is likely to be changed.
    With only six people reportedly responding to the consultation you would have thought that my efforts would have warranted a response. Well I got a response of sorts. One Councillor replied and seemed to feel that I had a point, one replied that my comments were noted and one, presumably the Chief Exec, got his secretary to send a stock reply. The rest - a deafening silence. So thank you Councillors Jarvis and Moores for at least finding a minute ot two to respond to a concerned elector and shame on the rest of you who couldn't be arsed. My views may or may not be right but at least two representatives tried to engage with them. If I lived in your wards you'd have my vote in May.

  2. Andrew I concur with you on this one and have to say that Simon is the only cabinet member who makes any attempt to communicate with us publicly on the internet where people are able disagree with what he says.

    If the government’s plans for open government really do come to fruition and internet use expands as expected I suspect the secretive and uncommunicative dinosaurs will eventually be consigned to the political rubbish bin where they belong.

    The courtesy of a response, even if it is only to say that you don’t know, doesn’t take much.

  3. Why bother publishing yhour email address on the TDC website if you're not going to respond to approaches through it? Just rude I'm afraid.

  4. Andrew
    I can find no communication from you, could you resend?
    I certainly communicated with you on this!

  5. David

    Have sent you a copy. I might add that your concern now bumps the response figure up to 3 plus a secretary - hardly impressive or indicative of a desire to engage with the electorate. Mind, they'll all want to engage with us in five months time and the issues brought to the surface by this sham consultation will be resurrected during the campaign.

  6. Hi Dave you have indeed commented on the leadership issue and you do indeed respond to emails, my main concern here though is not the leadership issue which I think councillors should attempt to resolve by selecting the type of leadership they consider the electorate want.

    My main gripe here is about the way the consultation process has been handled, I would have thought that 10 weeks of consultation, that produced 6 results from an electorate of nearly 100,000 should be enough to ring alarm bells.

    I know that councillors don’t like to criticise officers, but in this case we have a situation where we are heading towards an election where the result, who becomes leader of the council for the next four year term, is likely to be effected by a maladministered consultation.

    Apart from leaving the council’s validity open to judicial review, something that could be both very expensive and cause the council to have it’s leadership decided by central government, there is the matter of the intention of both the previous government’s legislation and the new government’s bill, in both cases the intention being to seek the electorate’s opinion.

    It is the interference with democratic process to attempt to produce a result in an election, that may be different to the one that would have been, had the electorate been properly consulted that I would like to hear your comments on.

    No press release, no mention in the list of consultations on the councils consultation page, no link in plain English on the councils homepage, no mention it Thanet Matters all things that would have not cost the council anything.

    I think Dave it is time for councillors to consider the difference between how politicians are selected in a democracy and how they are selected in a regime where politicians selection is influenced by the civil servants and decide which bracket this leadership selection falls in to.


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