Wednesday, 30 November 2011

Motion To Remove The Leader Of Thanet District Council



NOTICE OF MOTION – LEADER OF THE COUNCIL To: Council – 8 December 2011 By: Corporate & Regulatory Services Manager and Monitoring Officer Classification: Unrestricted Ward: All Wards
Summary: To consider a Notice of Motion submitted in relation to the Leader of the Council
For Decision
1.0 Introduction and Background
1.1. Council Procedure Rule No. 16 governs the process for motions on notice being submitted to Council.
    1. The following motion on notice has been received from Councillor Hart in accordance with that Rule::
    2. “Council resolves that Cllr Bayford be removed from the Office of Leader of the Council and that a new Leader be appointed”
  1. Options
2.1 To debate the motion
  1. Not to debate the motion
  2. Corporate Implications
3.1 Financial
3.1.1 None at this stage
3.2 Legal
3.2.1 Council Procedure Rule 16.3 states that, if seconded, a motion on notice will stand referred without discussion to the Cabinet or appropriate Committee for determination or report, unless the Council decides to debate the motion in accordance with Council Procedure Rule 19 (rules of debate). As the Leader can only be removed from office by a resolution of full Council, this means that if Council does not agree to debate the motion, the motion will fall at that point.


3.2.2 If Council agrees to debate the motion and the motion is subsequently carried, Article 7.04 of the Constitution requires Council to proceed to elect a new Leader. The election of a new Leader will be conducted in accordance with the requirements of Council Procedure Rule 21.6 (voting on appointments). Any new Leader would hold office for the unexpired residue of the term of office of the previous Leader, i.e. to the date of the Annual Meeting of Council in 2015, subject to the removal power of full Council.


3.2.3 Article 7.05 provides that upon election, the Leader will appoint a Councillor to the office of Deputy Leader with full power to act in the absence of the Leader. Consequently if a new Leader is elected and does not intend to confirm the continuation in office of the current Deputy Leader, it will be necessary for the new Leader to first remove the current Deputy Leader from office in accordance with the requirements of Article 
7.05. This will conclude all the issues that cannot be postponed to a further meeting of Council or dealt with by the new Leader under executive powers. Council is entitled to be informed at the next ordinary meeting of Council of the final composition of the Cabinet, including the allocation of portfolio responsibilities.
3.3 Corporate 3.3.1 Council Procedure Rule 16 provides the opportunity for Councillors to give advance notice of motions to be put to Council. Article 7 of the Constitution deals with the election and removal from office of the Leader.


Ed. Of course the only real option for Thanet, where we are likely to be looking at years of narrow, or no overall majority councils, is to change from the leadership elected by the councillors – which effectively means chosen by a very few people in both political groups – to the system where we the electorate elect a leader.


The council held a public consultation about this and the unanimous result was that local people wanted to elect their own leader. I don’t think the councillors even gave it a thought before deciding to overturn this result and carry on selecting their own leader, from the existing councillors.


I have added this link to the LSE recent article on elected mayors as it is pertinent to the comment http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/2011/11/29/elected-mayors/

78 comments:

  1. Back to the Future - this is starting to remind me of all the political twists and turns at TDC in the 80s.

    I wonder what Cllr Worrow will do? Presumably he will not back the current Leader but surely he could not support a Labour or Independent Councillor as Leader if the current Leader loses the vote of confidence. As he was voted in by a Conservative electorate, surely this would be a step too far.

    However this could be academic as ultimately the power may lie with the 3 other independents who could extract a very high price (if they wish) as king (or queen) maker or for preserving the status quo.

    Interesting days ahead.

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  2. Interesting but hardly democratic.

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  3. In a proper democracy we would get to choose the leader.

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  4. You don't live in a democracy, you live in Thanet!

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  5. I agree, I think that the leader should be directly elected by the people!

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  6. That new leader wouldn't be John Worrow then?

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  7. Maybe it would be someone anonymous?

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  8. Why don't they stop playing politics and get on with emptying the dustbins and mending the drains, which is what they are supposed to doing.

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  9. Worrow is Thanet's answer to David Icke.
    Toys all around the pram!

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  10. Drains are the responsibility of Kent County Council, bins are Thanet District Council's responsibility.

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  11. To anonymous at 0754,

    I see. So that leaves them with little else to do but squabble in the playground. Playing politics at this low level is risible.

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  12. But TDC are responsible for street sweeping including the removal of leaves and other debris that obstruct drains. Its often this deris that cause drains to overflow or be blocked.

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  13. To anonymous at 0927,

    Thank you. But I suppose we cannot expect our Councillors to pay much attention to our drains when squabbling in the political playground to see who has the biggest (err..) conker is much easier and much more fun.

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  14. John

    A local council has more influence on everyday life than Government in Westminster. It directs around 600 services and guides the local development framework and area strategy.

    It's cabinet run and this is a vital point, because how one Group directs policy and the tools it has available, can make a substantive difference to the direction and potential prosperity of an area.

    So who runs Thanet makes a huge difference, the airport being one example and the confidence of business to invest in the area, as well as peripheral issues, such as house prices, grants from County and Central Government and more.

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  15. A quick question Simon: who is responsible for cleaning cycle paths alongside main roads such as The Thanet Way? Twice recently I've got puntures in my bicycle tyres along there thanks to all the glass that has been left following motoring accidents.

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  16. The things that have the most influence on our lives is how much cash we are allowed to have in our pockets. TDC has a trivial influence on that. Taxes of all kinds, benefit payments and state pensions - these are the things that count. Likewise TDC is at the mercy of what government allows it to have including extra grants to an area which seem to have gone north under the coallition.

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  17. DrM,

    I take your point. But I find it difficult to accept that TDC has, as you claim, more influence on our everyday life than Westminster. Please see Anonymous at 13:25 whose reasoning is the more plausible.

    I am not amazed, as I effect to be, by the fact that some local Councillors choose to engage heavily in party politics. I realise they do this because they see Local Government as nothing but a political stepping stone to Westminster, and to achieve their aim they must wheel and deal and please the party bosses. The council tax payers are neglected as a result.

    Please Simon, tell me what you have done personally to make TDC a better place. The rest can speak for themselves. I am eager to hand you my promised apology. If you want us on your side then get out there and do something to make Thanet a better place. Laura Sandys can show you how.

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  18. What do you mean by "gone north"? Are you talking about the favouritism towards Margate?

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  19. Gone north!

    Even before Osborne's autumn statement, most govenment investment is being made north of Watford. Even Oxford to Bedford is now getting a new railline. If look at the treasury web site you will see the south, Surrey in particular, has just 3 capital projects, one a hospital and two governemnt research establishments. Most Free schools todate are anywhere but the southeast.

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  20. Peter

    This would be my point where are things happening to the south of the island other than the fart farm?

    On a different point, its easy for Cllrs (of all sides) to deal with the Gov but us plebs are not able to - why is this and why is Bob 'The leader' not able to deal with simple requests by the public.

    Cabinet system...my a**e.

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  21. It's not the whole north of the island though (as highlighted in Birchington by John Worrow recently), & even the beaches around the corner from Margate in Cliftonville were used to dump seaweed during the summer, therefore detering what few visitors go there.

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  22. DrM,

    So when are you going to start making your substantive difference? The local development framework is on the back burner, the airport is a dead duck, respectable businesses give Thanet a wide berth, house prices are dropping and all the major grants go to Margate.

    How does that bode well for Thanet as a whole?

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  23. Ken

    I'm sorry to say that as ever, your jaundiced view of reality is at odds with what is actually taking place in Thanet.

    In fact a number of good things are happening despite the fact we are surrounded by a serious recession. Talking up the area is more productive than talking it down

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  24. Simon, first how do you feel about TDC having a leader democratically elected by the people of Thanet?

    Personally I am living in part of Thanet that is fast becoming uninhabitable, both in terms of sleeping at night and engaging in minor social activates like going out of my own front door in the evening. Much of this is due to what I consider to be social engineering on the part of the council, housing a high intensity of problem people in a small area without any support. Part of it due to licensing takeaways until 4 am.

    During the day the general state of the area is now effecting my ability to trade.

    Added to this is the council’s handling of the prime non residential sites that it owns in the town.

    I am fully aware that the council, when it has the will, can improve the situation as it is doing in Margate.

    The problem for me is that my town is just not represented in any significant way at cabinet level, and I would like a leader that relies on my vote.

    Alternatively as a cabinet member you could actually try to put some pressure on your colleagues to represent us in some way, possibly even come and look at the problems we have.

    Please understand that this isn’t s much about money, but much more about an attitude and some sort of concerted approach, rather than say it is down to some other governing body.

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  25. DrM,

    I could not agree with you more. I sincerely want to talk the area up. To encourage me in this would you please list these good things that you say are happening.

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  26. I would like to put in a word for DrM. He appears regularly on this site and takes some flak for his pains. To his credit, he does not hide behind 'anonymous'. I wish that other Councillors would do the same.

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  27. John at 18.46, I couldn’t agree more Simon is both a courteous and responsive councillor, who although I know he is a very busy person, does endeavour to communicate with us, even in this very public forum.

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  28. just as an aside, what has happened to the new swimming pool, and where has the £4 million come from to invest in dreamland, for a council that is apparently strapped for cash it seems to have quite a lot to invest in one project.

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  29. The areas in Margate which I think have had most investment are, I believe, Margate Central and Cliftonville West which are Labour areas so I'm not sure how much having political representation on Cabinet from in the Town can be shown to influence things. Presumably Broadstairs would get the lions share under a Conservative Council if there was a correlation. The biggest investment was Turner Contemporary from KCC which is Conservative.

    Both Ramsgate and Margate still need a lot of investment to turn them around, preferably in my opinion by demolishing a sizeable chunk of the old guest houses in Cliftonville which were not designed as family homes and have ended up as HMOs. There is too great a density of large HMOs in one area and unless the conditions people have to live in are improved I fear things in the area will never reach acceptable living conditions. Bringing children up in these deprived conditions is likely to perpetuate the cycle.

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  30. Thanks Simon. I guess I'd better get onto KCC then.

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  31. so Dr M, each time the council leader puts his hands out to beg for a grant citing that thanet is "one of the most deprived areas in the country", is he talking the area up?

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  32. So many very disgruntled people putting forward very valid views on the future of Thanet.
    It amazes me how this council always seemingly ignore the very good intent and willingness of locals and business owners to do more yet are treated with almost distain.
    The current leader has so far achieved absolutely nothing, in fact it feels like Thanet has been in limbo since his arrival, a new face with hopefully some new ideas and direction would only be a good thing,wouldn't it ?

    As for the continual sparring of Labour / conservative he said this and he said that nonesense, it has to stop! stop acting out in public like spoilt children and get on with what you are paid to do,that is look after the interests of Thanet.
    If this leadership were employed in the real world of the private sector they would have been shown the door a long time ago, no performance = no pay and no job, so either do the job or get the hell out of Cecil Sq !

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  33. Dropping in for a moment, I'm afraid I have to comment that people believe what they wish to believe, evidence of the confirmation bias that exists in weblog readership. Sadly, much of what people wish to believe in regard to what the council does or is doing is simply plain wrong and that creates an environment where rumour and gossip prevail and the real facts are very hard to identify.

    I read the comments her and on Tony Flaig's weblog about Worrow and the Conservatives and TDC and very little bears any relationship to the truth beyond the fact that a Birchington councillor has resigned and is seeking to influence the future of TDC with his vote. Much of the rest is fiction or the results of an overactive imagination or political spin and is about as useful as Smudger in getting to the facts.

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  34. Simon, underlying this is the key problem that TDC is likely to be finely balanced politically between Labour and the Conservatives for some considerable time. What the council needs is some stability in terms of leadership and a leader with a strong mandate from all of Thanet, not the petty wrangling and instability we have.

    So once again my question, do you think the leader of the council should be democratically elected by the people of Thanet, or chosen by the councillors?

    Here in Ramsgate my business suffers directly from the council’s failure to manage the council owned property in the town, all of the main council owned, non residential, properties that I know of have been empty for years, most are semi derelict, not only is this blighting the town but depriving the council of much needed income. I wont list the council properties in the town again, but do you know of any significant council owned, non residenntial properties, in Ramsgate that are being properly managed, either to some public benefit or some commercial benefit to the council?

    On a personal note, I too am now suffering from the wonders internet phone auto correction, please let me know if ever come up with some sort of solution.

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  35. "Talking up the area is more productive than talking it down"

    How can you talk up prominent areas like the Pleasurama site and Margate old town. Maybe the tory leadership can let us know. Its just wishful thinking on their part that they would like the public to believe its all so rosy.
    Visitors may come once but dont come back.
    Michael has repeatedly asked for some temporary tidyup/use of the Pleasurama site that would not cost a fortune but summer after summer it remains a dump. So how do you talk this up for at least amother 3 summers?

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  36. To Anonymous at 11:17,

    Why do you introduce the word 'Tory'into what is otherwise a trenchant statement about the Pleasurama site. I find this curious.

    Is it the case that you attribute only bad things to Tories and only good things to Labour? Are you in truth saying nothing more than vote Labour?

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  37. I do agree that Simon is the only councillor brave enough to put his head above the parapet. Perhaps he should be the publicly elected leader of the council, then he can stop talking it up and actually do something about it.

    Simon, I challenge you to come to Ramsgate and see if these blog comments are truth or fiction.

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  38. Readit,

    I agree with your comments about Simon Moore being the only Councillor brave enough, though some might say fool enough, to put his head above the parapet. However, I suspect that other Councillors appear on this blog skulking behind the shield of 'anonymous'. Similarly, with some Officials though clearly they dare not identify themselves.

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  39. Michael
    You know full well the story on elected Mayors so please stop flogging a dead horse (pun)

    One good reason to avoid the model lies with uninformed populism and the potential for corruption which has plagued 3 London boroughs that I won't name and which appear to be run as personal fiefdoms.

    The advantage of cabinet appointing a leader is that an elected group determines who may be best to lead them. Experience shows that may not always be the best man for the job, like Jim Hacker in Yes Prime Minister but I would argue that here in Thanet, we have the most switched on cabinet and leader of any in Kent in regard to the cross section of education, business and political skills available

    A good cabinet is really run like an executive body and politics rarely comes into the discussion until the opposition march in like a cameo Fred Kite character from I'm Alright Jack... Comrades, Tory Led, Rich Bankers, week in and week out!

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  40. We await with interest the case of the ex TDC leader arrested on suspicion of fraud and misconduct in public office. Elected by council including no doubt Dr Moores.
    Contrast this with the directly elected non political mayor of Hartlepool. First elected in 2002 and by popular demand re-elected in 2009.
    If it can work in Hartlepool it can work in Thanet.

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  41. Simon I think the point you may have missed here, is that your opinion is just that yours, mine for what it’s worth is that the current administration is an improvement, but too Margate focused.

    But, and it is a very big but indeed, there are the opinions of the rest to the electorate to consider.

    Despite the respondents to the council’s consultation - probably a load of troublemakers who should be taken outside and shot - saying unanimously that they wanted the elected leader (Mayor is a confusing title here, as this has nothing to do with dressing up and eating big dinners, but means the elected leader of the council) the council hasn’t even gone down the road of holding a mayoral referendum i.e. asking the electorate what system they want.

    So here we are saddled with a leader with no proper mandate, no convincing majority or the likelihood of getting one for three years.

    The most likely outcome, and only because we will have had a long period of Non Labour national government, is a period of instability in local government – historically we have lost more Conservative Councillors mid term than Labour ones – probably shifting to Labour leadership, if not next week then fairly soon, followed by a Labour majority term. That would give you about six years as an opposition councillor, does this outcome appeal to you?

    I would say as a councillor look around you and consider how many councillors from all parties would be likely to be chosen for cabinet office by an independent leader and review your chances.

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  42. That's a really big "If" but quite irrelevant as it's not going to happen as it's been done away with as a model of local government on the basis, more likely than not, that Hartlepool is the exception rather than the rule.

    In regard to Cllr Ezekiel, I can't possibly comment, as readers will understand but I'm sure everyone looks forward to the results of the inquiry.

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  43. Sorry Simon is there something I missed in the localism act, what I read is that the coalition national government will devolve more powers to local authorities that go down the elected leader route.

    I also believe that it is still only a petition with signatures of 5% of the electorate that is needed to force a mayoral election referendum on a council.

    With the situation in Ramsgate deteriorating to the point that I have more time on my hands due to lack of customers, I am seriously considering initiating a mayoral election referendum.

    Perhaps I lack the determination to obtain the signatures of 2% of the electorate, what do you think?

    I could possibly stand for election on the ticket of less local history books, but more entertainment in local government, a sort of mini Boris option.

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  44. Good luck Michael. I will look forward to watching you and Tim Garbutt fighting it out, perhaps with John Worrow as a late entry!

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  45. Simon I doubt I would stand a chance in that company.

    Seriously though I wouldn’t be the right person for the job and if you and your Conservative colleagues can think of some alternative, that gives you some hope of having some say in the governance of Thanet, over the next few years, then the best of luck to you.

    Perhaps you have become a politician and have developed that mindset, I paint and draw more than I should and seem to be developing the mindset of an artist, although unfortunately not the ability.

    I am minded to tell you a joke about the artist with the terminal disease, you see god appeared to him and offered him one miracle, to which the artist replied, stay still for long enough for me to paint you.

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  46. Go for it Michael, it would be interesting to see how many other hats wqent in the ring

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  47. A quick check will tell you that the elected mayor of Hartlepool is far from being the exception. Another example, the mayor of Watford elected by the public 2002 and relelected 2009. Oh yes this year the Queen even made her an OBE for services to Watford.

    I think you find that on the whole where elected mayors have been installed they have been a success.

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  48. I rather like elections. Especially when people imply that I am too uniformed to reach a proper decision.

    DrM, you use the word populism which is the political doctrine that supports the rights and powers of the common people in their struggle with the privileged elite. Presumably, you do not object to populism in itself; but only when it is, as you say, uninformed. From which I infer only when it disagrees with your opinion. Simon, you have been studying Marxism and it shows.

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  49. Peter 16.35 and 17.20, I haven’t done anything about the mayoral election petition because I was worried that we would get something worse than we already have, however I am now coming to the conclusion that the likely long period of instability will be very damaging to Thanet.

    The trouble with becoming leader of Thanet is that it would require administrative skills which I just don’t have, I reckon it really needs someone at the prime of their career, preferably from the private sector, who would be willing to give up their job and devote their full time attention to the job, for the period of their office.

    Talking to senior council officers, I would say that they haven’t yet properly recovered from the council reorganisation due to job cuts and the new administration.

    Theoretically this wasn’t a change, but just a continuation of the Conservative administration, although it seems as though neither the previous administration nor the new one is really what one would call Conservative. All one can really say for certain about them is that they have a very high regard for their own abilities, whether they ever get beyond accepting the restraints proclaimed by the officers and make some real changes remains to be seen.

    Some of the council departments seem to be running so badly that it has become beyond anything I can comprehend, for example the notification of the officers own strike actually appeared on the councils facebook page the day after the strike.

    But yes I think in the first instance what is really needed is a leadership that takes its measure of what can an can not be done from outside of the perceived restrictions set out by officers, for the convenience of officers.

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  50. From Wikipedia:

    British Prime Minister David Cameron is broadly in favour of the system, saying directly elected mayors are "accountable" and can "galvanise action"

    To date there have been 37 referendums on whether to establish an elected mayor in English local authorities. Twelve have been passed and 25 rejected by the voters.

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  51. Sorry Michael but you occupy a privileged space in cloud cuckoo land and while you freely criticise, which is your right, you have no real grasp of the eclectic and frequently complex challenges facing local government.

    If you read my weblog from the time before I became a councillor, I would concede that I was equally naive. It didnt take long for the scales to fall from my eyes.

    In an environment like Thanet which rests on a loose clay of deprivation, the pressures are considerable and the challenges almost overwhelming. These have to be balanced against the constant search for opportunity, investment and regeneration .

    Successive goverments created a top heavy system with too many agencies and interests which interfered with the need to be efficent as the public sector ballooned.

    Today, tightly controlled budgets and an economy in crisis, sends the problem in the opposite direction, so that resources are cut to the bone and priorities and people are being juggled.

    It would be a brave man or woman who wished to be Mayor, I certainly would not as the skills required here in Thanet would require more of an Alan Sugar than a John Worrow!

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  52. Simon I though that, that was pretty roughly what I said in my last two comments.

    The dialogue seems to have gone something like

    Michael The sky is blue.

    Simon I total disagree with what you said, it’s obvious that the sky is blue.

    Perhaps there was something that I misunderstood here, if so I misunderstood it, so perhaps you could say what you mean or what you think I meant.

    That said if you want an Allan Sugar then perhaps an elected leader would be the way to go.

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  53. "..you have no real grasp of the eclectic and frequently complex challenges facing local government."

    Do me a favour. Michael Childs is relatively well-educated by Thanet standards. He certainly makes most of the Councillors look like half-wits and, if he doesn't understand what's going on, then neither do they. In my opinion, "The complexity of local government" is just an phrase trotted out by those who want to avoid scrutiny and criticism of their inadequate performance. And from the Tory point of view, the performance of a Leader who manages to lose the one Councillor required to keep him in post, has to be in question.

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  54. Until, you've flown a large aircraft, all the theorising in the world isn't much help in being able to land it succesfully. The same applies loosely to local government as I said.

    I thought I had some pretty good ideas of my own until I found myself inside and looking out with a shed-load of responsibilities to match.

    It's 20:43 on Friday and I still see council emails coming in that I have to read. There are some 600 interconnected services to manage across any council with budgets running into millions. Just remember for a moment that councillors - at least those in the Conservative cabinet - have day jobs too.

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  55. The Labour ones have to collect their benefits, Simon, so they are not totally idle!

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  56. Nice analogy Simon, but I think you are missing the point here, which is when the council flies into a tree, they are inclined to carry on regardless. I would say that metaphorically speaking they crash land several planes a week. Their announcement of Thursday’s strike on Friday, on their facebook wall being one I noticed this week.

    The problem is very much that the councillors are supposed to decide what the officers do, but the officers have produced a situation where they train the councillors into telling them to do what they want to do.

    This situation of manipulating the checks and balances in endemic within the council. Consider how the top of the officer pyramid is supposed to operate, an innovative chief executive pushing the council forward, balanced by and accountant minded chief of finance, working out how these innovations can be realistically be achieved within a limited budget.

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  57. Michael

    Facebook is a nice to have but not a mainstream communications channel ; ie there is no Facebook job spec

    I will say again, im afraid, that unless you are sitting round the table at cabinet and senior management team meetings like yesterday, working through pages of departmental issues, then you can't know what its like, unless you have worked in the management team of a large corporation

    Anyway, we try and perhaps if readers can concede that if i find it tough going, then perhaps its not as simple as some might suggest! The exception being a certain Mr Worrow perhaps?

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  58. Simon it was only an example, but the problem stems from the TDC news feed which is faulty. Say your tweets appeared randomly sometimes a week late on your sidebar it would be because the encoding of the Java that sends Twitter’s feeds had a bug in it.

    In a large commercial corporation, this type of thing couldn’t happen over a sustained period of time, years with TDC, as the corporation would go into administration.

    What I am getting at here is that it doesn’t matter how many crashes, no one ever changes the pilot, because as the council knows best, it can’t make mistakes.

    I am afraid that the first job for Allan Sugar would be to say You’re Fired to officers that are incompetent, at the moment security of employment seems to based on entrenching a position within the bureaucratic framework, rather than actually being able to do the job. Hence the management of the prime real estate in Ramsgate.

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  59. Mayor Sugar "Your task is to spend taxpayers money wisely"

    Council owns tennis courts - Council wants to develop tennis courts - Residents object - Council spends £40,000+ on QC defence etc. - Council wins - Council does U turn and claims victory for listening to public opinion.

    Mayor Sugar "You're ALL fired.

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  60. DrM,

    You tell us,"you have no real grasp of the eclectic and frequently complex challenges facing local government."

    Simon, at the risk of being frank that is pompous and patronising. It is also a very silly thing to say.

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  61. John. If the 2012 0lympics included a pompous and patronising event then Dr Moores would have no competition for the gold medal. All you would have to do would be to start besting him in an argument and he would be a shoe-in. Must not push him too far though because if it looks as if he might have to concede that you're right then he just picks up the ball and refuses to play any more.

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  62. Readit just imagine an estates executice in a private company that owned most of the iconic buildings on Ramsgate Seafront explaining to Alan why they were all demolished or derelict. Where is my rent? And you’re fired.

    John I think you have the wrong end of the stick here, in the context the you Simon was referring to was me, "you have no real grasp of the eclectic and frequently complex challenges facing local government." A Simon is quite right I don’t have a clue, thought he meant to say electic frequency which after all is what the post is about.

    Come on mingles4all, Simon doesn’t have to comment here, none of the other cabinet members do, what do you want him to do say he has no confidence in the council and resign?

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  63. If running the Council is a job that can only be understood by high-fliers such as Dr. M., how come the list of councillors over the last 20 years has included so many intellectual pygmies?

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  64. 18:58 The council still has its fair share of intellectual pygmies, almost entirely so, though not exclusively, on the Labour benches, but they do not all hold cabinet posts. In the main they just vote with their leader and hardly tax their limited grey matter at all.

    Hence it is left to the likes of Dr. M to run several departments. For the moment he does that well, but heaven help us if he has to make way for one of the less able.

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  65. if TDC had shareholders to answer to, the first questions they would be asking were;

    on your published "monthly spend over £500", you pay out millions each month to contractors maintaining council owned property, pay for services such as technology and housing services. With this in mind, what exactly do you 600+ directly employed staff do?

    the nearest TDC has to shareholders are its subjects.I see a street cleaner once a month, bins taken, police negligence, decaying public buildings and a direct debit for £100+ each month.

    Not a great return on my investment.

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  66. Michael,

    I thought that Simon did indeed mean to use the word 'eclectic'. It would fit in context bearing mind the 'eclectic' means, selecting what seems best of various styles or ideas.

    In other words there are many good ideas floating round and the council is spoilt for choice. A cheering thought.

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  67. Well I dont think Cameron, Clegg and Osbourne had flown a toy plane or even run a toy shop between them let alone a Jumbo and here we have them trying to run the country.
    So I think the analogy given is completely irrelevant.

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  68. My Jumbo flies itself. The hardest thing I have to do is stay awake. A bit like being in the Council chamber, I guess.

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  69. Dr M's participation and amazing ability to hold the whole Island together will, I'm afraid, come to an end soon when Comrade Hart and Tovarich Driver take over TDC - Gawd 'elp us. I wonder if aforementioned Doctor will be quite so superior when he's only Opposition

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  70. He could hardly be inferior to what will be in charge. The sad thing is the Conservatives got considerably more votes than Labour, but a rogue councillor with an inflated ego can cause this mayhem.

    The only interesting thing, I won't say good, likely to come out of a transfer of leadership will be the ensuing power struggle between Hart and Driver. It will be a bit like putting Willie Carson in the ring with Lennox Lewis.

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  71. If the Conservatives want a greater number of votes to translate into a majority they need to start supporting proportional representation. However, they aren't likely to do this because it would work against them at the national level. Swings and roundabouts, I'm afraid.

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  72. 16:27 The Conservatives got the most votes and one more seat than Labour. That is a victory on both counts and we both know that were the boot on the other foot with some Labour councillor defecting, the screams from Hart and Poole would be deafening.

    However, I do accept that it is politics and I am sure there will be more chopping and changing over the life of this council. Just don't expect any sympathy when some Labour councillor kicks this mortal existence due to overweight or something.

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  73. The Port watch fighting the Starboard watch while the ship runs aground,perhaps the drinking water should be drugged to get them all pulling on the rope in the same direction,it has always been thus.
    Stargazer.

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