Marple Tree Surgeon providing arboricultural services to the Northwest and beyond.

Author Topic: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?  (Read 21389 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

simonesaffron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 860
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #64 on: February 07, 2016, 12:48:44 PM »
@simonesaffron view my comments however you want, I don't really care.

Well Councillor you should care about comments made by your constituents even if you don't agree with them, you're supposed to care.

Hoffnung, though raises an interesting point concerning councillors when it comes to voting for/against the party line which I must admit I had never really thought about. In the example you quoted Hoffnung, how many did, do you know the answer? 

CllrKennyBlair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #63 on: February 06, 2016, 09:08:12 PM »
@simonesaffron view my comments however you want, I don't really care. You will think whatever you want to think, no matter what the truth of the matter is. If you read my posts, I said the Conservative Party have a meeting before full Council meetings (which I do attend) where motions are discussed and people put their view points across. A general consensus is reached, people who want to speak on the matter volunteer but I said if I don't agree with the consensus and how it impacts on Marple South, I will vote how I see fit, not as I am told. Believe that or believe it not.

As for meetings before Marple Area Committee, there are no such meetings from the Conservative Party, I can't speak of the Lib Dems. Again, read my previous posts, but again, you will form your own view point, whether based on truth or not.

simonesaffron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 860
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #62 on: February 06, 2016, 05:20:15 PM »
Every Wednesday throughout the summers of 2013/14 I met a friend off the train for an early hours drink. We used to go into the Midland about 5pm. We always knew when it was Area Committee Evening because when it was The Marple 6 were in there, having their pre Area Committee Meeting. They would discuss the agenda and basically get their act together before they appeared in public at the real Area Committee. Personally neither my friend nor I could see any wrong in it.

I also know from my own experience, that before every council meeting of any importance which involves the politicians, that there is a series of group meetings whereupon Councillors take stances in line with their own politics. This stance is usually derived from the political party that they belong to. 

So I'm not really sure what Councillor Kenny is trying to tell us. Is he saying that these meetings don't exist or is he saying that they do but that he doesn't go to them and if he is saying whatever it is he is saying, why is he saying it?

Furthermore, when I have actually worked out what he is saying I hope he won't mind if I view his comments with a little scepticism .


simonesaffron

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 860
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #61 on: February 06, 2016, 04:07:40 PM »
Duke,

All councillors receive a basic allowance. If they have any additional duties/responsibilities then they receive a Special Responsibility Allowance (SRA). If you are directly employed by the council then you are disqualified from standing as a councillor for THAT council.  Therefore no councillor has a 'job' with their council, it isn't allowed. All councillors allowances are out there in the public domain if you want to look at them.

Personally, I've always thought that councillors were UNDERpaid. Neither do I understand the huge disparity that exists in pay between Council Officers  and Councillors nor do I understand the disparity that exists between different councils.

For Example the CEO of Stockport Council receives an annual salary approaching £200k whereas the Leader of the council receives less than £40k. If I was running the Council I would take a chunk of money off him and give to her and still have some left over.

In Manchester a councillor receives an annual basic allowance of £16k yet in Stockport its £9k, why is that?

Perhaps Malcolm Allan knows, he chaired a Panel Remuneration Board that establishes Councillor's allowances.

CllrKennyBlair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #60 on: February 06, 2016, 02:57:03 PM »
Richard Leese is the Leader of Manchester City Council and Member of their Executive. He is paid for this, but as I said these jobs are only filled by Councillors as the Executive run the Council. Same as Sue Derbyshire (Leader of SMBC) and Iain Roberts (Deputy Leader of SMBC). It is not jobs for the boys.

Andy

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 159
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #59 on: February 06, 2016, 02:12:21 PM »
That's right Duke, let's not let facts get in the way of the Neo-liberal rhetoric!

Donald Trump could learn a few things from you!

Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #58 on: February 06, 2016, 10:17:31 AM »
If that's the case, great but (I'm not in any way criticising these individuals, especially Patrick) but I've dealt with Ian Roberts and Patrick McCormack recently and both seem to have paid jobs on the council and being councillors.

Over in Manchester, Dick Leese seems to be in a highly remunerated job in the council and a councillor.

CllrKennyBlair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #57 on: February 06, 2016, 10:08:20 AM »
 
personally, I don't think elected councillors should be getting jobs on the council, it stinks of jobs for the boys.

@Duke Fame to which jobs do you refer? As I understand it, If you are employed by the local authority, you cannot stand as a Councillor. Any Councillors subsequently employed by the Local Authority outside of their Councillr duties, must resign as a Councillor. Councillors run the Executive, so not sure if these are the "jobs" you refer to.

Duke Fame

  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1674
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #56 on: February 06, 2016, 08:03:28 AM »
We all have those Duke,

In fact following your own postings over the years, I think that you have a skeleton full of them.

I personally am not against political  'unknowns,' I didn't say that I was, although I am against political  'unknowings,' which is what we appear to have.  What I was challenging was the political judgement of a party which  is facing extinction in fielding an 'unknown unknowing' and expecting us to vote for them.

Furthermore, I don't know what I've said to give you the impression that Labour is my party, the last time I supported them in any way, Thatcher was Prime Minister..

As for having 'socialist ideals'  as a young person for a short time, well that's natural, I guess. But we are not talking about second year students, are we? We are talking here about 60 years plus men who have held political office for umpteen years. Surely you can see the difference.

I think I've said before, what I would like to see, at least locally in Marple, are some independent councillors who are not bound by party whips and who above all else would have the interests of Marple and not the interests of their party at the forefront of their minds. Surely you would support that too, instead of the same ole, same ole.       

I agree, id prefer to see Indy's standing or at least the 'ratepayers type groups standing.

the problem with local authorities and uk local government is its all become too big. I'd like to see someone take the council piece by piece and dismantle it. look at every job, every councillor and decide if they are really needed. Do we really need 8 people responsible for Stockport town centre yet none are remunerated on how successful the town is? do we really need a cycling officer? do we need all those staff? do we need all those buildings? why are so many council employees so inept?

personally, I don't think elected councillors should be getting jobs on the council, it stinks of jobs for the boys.

Malcolm Allan

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 65
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #55 on: February 06, 2016, 07:23:15 AM »
Sorry Geoff,

I'm having technical difficulties...we have yet to know what Malcolm's political knowledge is.

Malcolm has told us that he plays cricket and was involved with the brownies and something about some council run charity. All very commendable, what exactly was this charity and what exactly does Malcolm do these days?

 

Thanks for your kind comments – I’m not the least bit offended about the name mix up.
You asked about my experience. I can tell you about my involvement in local Government, although I can add I worked in Central Government in various posts in my early career which included writing briefs and parliamentary answers for ministers, but this wasn’t party political, as Civil Servants were “apolitical” always.
My involvement in local government started in the area where my work was based in Rochdale. I got involved via my Company in economic development and was asked by the Council to do various things arising from that. I was on the Development Agency Board that attracted new investment into Middleton which revitalised the town centre, including building the Middleton Arena. We were also working on the Rochdale Town Centre as a major project which has now come to fruition.
I developed what was regarded as an innovative childcare scheme with the Council and that lead to me being involved in what was the Children’s’ Partnership and eventually became the Children’s’ Trust. This was the “Children’s Schools and Families” area that came under the Local and National Government Department of the same name. I chaired the Trust from formation and at one stage our Trust was consulted by the Government of the day as one of 6 which were regarded as doing something well which was different. At the time I was the only Independent Chair in the Country. The Trust was a body made up of Councillors of all parties, Council Officers, Social Services, Head teachers, Police, NHS and the voluntary sector. 
The charity work you refer to was another role where Rochdale were successful in a bid for £2.7m of lottery funding for an architectural and heritage project focussed on restoring the buildings of local architect Edgar Wood, a key figure in the Arts and Crafts movement. This Board which I chair is again made up of local councillors, community and business representatives. We have tangible evidence for our work and have attracted a large number of visitors to the area by linking with other heritage attractions.
I was also the Chair of the Rochdale Council Remuneration Panel and a member from its inception when local government was re-organised into its “cabinet” or “executive” system. All Councils set up independent panels to review what councillors were paid as an allowance and all other related areas such as use of IT equipment and so on. The work we did involved surveying councillors directly on their activities and how they spent their time. We did this in a paper survey but also by talking to councillors. The Panel took formal representations from the Party Leaders in the Council. We developed our own formula for this which we re-examined over the years. We presented our recommendations back to the Party leaders and these went to Council for decisions. This gave me what I feel was a very good insight into the work of Local Councillors, and the workings of council bodies.
None of this was experience as a Councillor but as has been said already, everyone starts with no experience. I think I’ve got some relevant background that gives me a better start.   
I recently stopped full time work and hence my keenness to get involved in the area where I live.

CllrKennyBlair

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 69
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #54 on: February 05, 2016, 10:11:39 PM »
@Hoffnung suggest you check your facts in relation to defections. 3 Lib Dem Concillors defected to Labour in protest at the decision to enter coalition. Patrick Macauley defected from Lab to Lib Dem. The reason I raise it is that you state people are whipped to toe the party line. As I said, I have never been told how to vote or been punished for voting against. There are meetings before full Council meetings (I don't have meetings before Marple Area Committee or Health & Wellbeing Scrutiny) to discuss the motions, but as I said, if I don't agree with an item I will vote accordingly. I can't speak for other Councillors.

As for the old chestnut about having a full time job and being a Councillor, I have answered that elsewhere on this forum. I manage just fine and is a combination of effective time management, a flexible employer, a very understanding family and modern technology. When I was in Germany this week, I was informed about the fly tipping on Middlewood. I managed to contact Council Officers all the way from Germany and advise them about this and arrange for it to get moved. How is that letting my constituents down?

GeoffAbell

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 202
    • Marple Lib Dems
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #53 on: February 04, 2016, 06:29:26 PM »
@Hoffnung - yes, I'd find it difficult to have a full-time job too, but it's possible and not for me to judge.

I would like to hear (with your insight - I mean that!) what you think makes a good councillor now that you are free to speak your mind.

Hoffnung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #52 on: February 04, 2016, 09:12:24 AM »
Cllrs; Kenny, Geoff,

There is lot in your posts. I don't think that I can respond to all of it.

I agree with much of what you say but the fact of the matter is that the Full Council Meeting uses much of its time, debating pointless motions that are brought forward for party political reasons. That is all I'm  trying to say.

Cllr Kenny, let's present the facts on 'defections.' In the last 5 years there have been 3. Cllrs; David White (LD to Lab) John Smith (LD to Con) & Laura Booth ( Lab to LD). Both David & John stood down before  their next elections and Laura cited "bullying" in her local party (it was in the local press)as her reason for defection. I don't know what you are citing these as examples of but none of the three seem to be points of political principle.

We all three of us know that before any council meeting (and I don't just mean Full Council ) a pre meeting is held and a party line is agreed and woe betide any councillor that goes against it.

As for the two Marple Executive Councillors that you refer to, at one time we had three. What good did it do for Marple you say. That's a hard question to answer as we don't know what would have happened to Marple if they hadn't been there. I also suspect that you wouldn't be asking it if they weren't LibDems. You see party politics again.

All the above only reinforces my view that we should have some independent councillors, which is all I have been saying.

Geoff, I agree that being a Councillor is not for the 'faint hearted.' However I disagree with your seeming acceptance that councillors can discharge their duties to their constituents whilst having other full time occupations.

I didn't come onto this forum to talk about my own background but is extensive in local government, I have worked with many councillors over the years  and I would say without a doubt it is impossible to reconcile being an active councillor with being a full time employee for somebody else. You can't be in two places at once - simple as that.         

   
 


Hoffnung

  • Jr. Member
  • **
  • Posts: 85
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #51 on: February 04, 2016, 08:29:39 AM »
I think that I've already answered that one Amazon.

GeoffAbell

  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 202
    • Marple Lib Dems
Re: What will happen to Labour and LibDems in 2016?
« Reply #50 on: February 03, 2016, 10:32:29 PM »
Quote
I have not been whipped to vote one way or the other either in local issues or in full Council. I don't agree with everything the Conservative party states, or Labour or Lib Dem and will voice my opinion accordingly. A good idea is a good idea wherever it comes from.
One of my main criticisms of this part of the Council meeting is the fact that we don't debate real local issues / motions.

There are 2 things we tend to vote on in the council chamber - motions which are often supplied by the opposition (i.e. not Lib Dems) which tend to be on national issues; and the budget.  The latter is quite important, as we have to have (by law) a balanced budget, and cannot borrow for day-to-day spending, unlike, say, the government or the NHS.

Unlike parliament, there is no 3-line whip.  Cannot speak for other parties, but we discuss things in Group Meetings and sometimes agree a line.  But there is no sanction against a councillor who votes against a particular issue.  I know.  I'm a whip.

So I am in the unusual position of agreeing with Kenny on his above statements.

Trust me, many Conservative-government ideas do not sit well with me.  Recent ideas to sell off social sector housing whilst reducing rents will mean less building when we have a housing shortage.  Stopping all inshore wind farm developments.  Cutting the preventative health budget halfway through the financial year was unpredictable and foolish.  But as Kenny says, "a good idea is a good idea":  HS3, Northern Powerhouse and devolution to local government in a number of areas is both brave and good.

I work long hours as a councillor.  Others (including Conservative Kenny Blair and LibDem Sue Ingham, both in Marple South) have day jobs too.  It's not for the faint-hearted. 

But I am transparent and I am your representative.  I will answer any question where I can.


And I urge you all to come to the next Marple Area Cmte on Wed 10th Feb.  We all hope to be around at 5:30pm for an informal chat and later will discuss Parking in Marple in a new, hopefully-inclusive way.