Thursday, 3 January 2013

Independent Thanet Councillor calls for Coalition


Independent Councillor Ian Driver declared that “it’s time to call an end to Thanet Council’s culture of yah-boo playground politics and start doing government for grown-ups”.

His statement follows a Thanet Council meeting in December 2012 when a series of controversial votes were tied 28-28 and important decisions made on the casting ballot of Council Chairman.

Said Driver “it’s becoming clear that no single party can control Thanet Council and that stable governance is less and less likely. This is the last thing the people of Thanet need – a divided and feuding Council – at a time when the budget and services are under attack, at a time when we need to be regenerating the local economy and creating new jobs, and at a time when we have a major social housing crisis to deal with in Thanet.”

I publicly call on the leaders of the 2 major parties to meet with the Independent Group of Councillors to talk about establishing a coalition cabinet at Thanet which will run the Council in the interests of local people rather than for party political advantage. I also challenge the Leaders of the big parties to relax the party whip system and let councillors vote on the basis of their own views and opinions rather than rigid party lines which often oppose the public interest”.

“They say the New Year is a time to change and do things differently well here’s a unique opportunity for Thanet’s politicians to push party lines and dogma to one side and try to work together in coalition for the common good of local people”

30 comments:

  1. Given the ability of Councillors to use their positions to their own ends, this idea would lead to disaster for TDC and thats why both Hart and Bayford will reject this.

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    1. James I guess if the electorate sent any message to our councillors in leaving no party with an overall majority, it was; bury your differences and work together.

      I would guess that if the members of the cabinet and shadow cabinet were working in unison, on most issues, they would just about be a match for the senior officers.

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    2. If someone else came up with that idea I would think what an interesting idea.
      But Ian Driver has a track record of breaking agreements so such a proposal would not be worth the paper it is written on! It seen that Ian already thinks that he is councillor KING!

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    3. Ian Driver is a nice man but his word is worth very little.
      In politics, like business, if you keep changing you mind every 24 hours and stamp your feet like a two year old when you can't get your own way, people will start to loose confidence in you.

      It's not even about being nice or being nasty I like Ian very much.
      Ian Driver doesnt make Tom King's hand any stronger because he forgets agreements and promises in hours. The question is, can he even believe himself?

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    4. I see from reading another blog that Simon Moores and Ian Driver are now the best of friends. To think that it was only the other day that Simon was laughing at animal rights supporters, and Ian was calling Simon's group homophobic (as heard on BBC news). I feel sorry for all the gay sheep! I wonder what Issue Simon and Ian can create together?

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    5. Cross a Tory councillor and aviator with a Left wing councillor and bisexual, the issue would probably be a celibate gay bishop with wings who refused to discuss politics 22.24.

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  2. this will never happen to many in it for self ego not for whats good for jo public of thanet night flights a good example hop on what seems to be the topic of the month if it gets publicity for ME

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    1. Of course it won't happen and Ian Driver knows that more than anyone. He does, however, have his own reasons and agenda - he needs to start off in a way that shows Cllr King that he is in charge!

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  3. James, What do you mean? You're surely not suggesting that Hart and Bayford are there for their own self engrandisement and the expenses rather than for the good of Thanet.

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  4. annon not just them most of them

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  5. Perhaps the problem is more related to what happens over time, I would guess most of the senior councillors stood for election to local government for idealistic reasons, concede that some may have stood to further their own interests.

    I guess a lot of them are now fairly old and have become reliant on the allowances and this combined with enmities nurtured over the years doesn’t necessarily make for good government.

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  6. Talking theoretically, because this doesnt have a hope in hell, my concern is about how such a Cabinet would be constituted. Six Cabinet roles plus a Leader. By design you'd have an unstable Cabinet and naturally a weakened Leader, who would spend a lot of time trying to get the various Members to work together rather than focusing on the job at hand, delivering for residents. It would also muddy the constitutional waters as regards to the Governing group and the Opposition.

    This doesn't solve Driver's issue over Pleasurama for example. Last year Poole couldnt make a meeting. Consider that happening under a coalition Cabinet meeting, you would end up in exactly the same situation as at the Full Council meeting, where the Chair gets a second vote. Night flights similarly.

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  7. James. The answer could be to scrap the cabinet and revert to the open and more transparent committee system. The Cabinet system would be OK if you could trust the Cabinet to make the right decision and for the right reasons. Unfortunately we cant.

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  8. The problem with the messenger is that he is only happy when people agree with his point of view, he has proved this time and again during his political career.

    How many different parties and groups has he joined and then walked away from when things didn't go his way?



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  9. Anon 23.56. So are you saying that if you find yourself as a new boy in a group where two members bully the rest into supporting ill-informed and ridiculous decisions, that you should go along with that corrupt ethos. Remember how Driver's predecessor was also bullied out of the Local Labour Party. Surely leaving Warrow and Sober Jack does not need an explanation. Strikes me that Driver is a breath of fresh air.

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  10. what about an elected mayor for Thanet? A single strong leader. I believe that if enough local people sign a petition we can force a vote on having an elected Mayor. Does anyone know anything about this? A single strong leader will put an end to all this nonsense. Like the Police Commissioner there will be a good chance of electing someone who is not party political. What do you think people?

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    1. We voted for that a couple of years back and it was rejected!

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    2. Things have changed a lot since this idea was originally discussed. We have a hung Council. Badly behaved politicians. Crude bullying to silence those few politicians who speak up for the people. We now also have the example of the Police Commissioner elections where over half of them are independent and not linked to the big party machines. Perhaps people might now look differently at the idea of a powerful elected executive Mayor.

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    3. Nope we didn’t vote for it, what happened was the council held a public consultation and all of the respondents to the consultation said they wanted an elected mayor, the council then decided not to adopt this method of government, in fact they hardly discussed the issue.

      That said, with both the present system and the mayoral system, it is only as good as the functioning of local democracy. With many of the voters seeming to have difficulty differentiating between, county, district and town council combined with a tendency to use votes to express dissatisfaction with national government, I don’t se either system working very well.

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  11. Anon 23.56 If you are a member of a party or a group there has to be democracy. There are bound to be disagreements from time to time, the only way to retain any form of unity and fairness is to have a vote, sometimes you are in the majority sometimes not, the answer is not to throw your toys out of the pram and always walk away.

    You may have thought a recent decision was ill informed and ridiculous however others clearly did not. This time you were in the minority next time you might not be.

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  12. what about an elected mayor for Thanet?

    Do they make troughs big enough?

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  13. If someone else came up with that idea I would think what an interesting idea.
    But Ian Driver has a track record of breaking agreements so such a proposal would not be worth the paper it is written on!

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    1. Thank you Mr Fox/ Worrow

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    2. Now is 19:52 a disgruntled TIG or a fearful Labourite looking over their shoulder at their precarious position. Either party, if independents can actually be such, has cause to feel aggrieved at Cllr Driver. Where next for the latter one asks, possibly UKIP to get out of the EU and stop animal exports.

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    3. Ian Driver is a nice man but his word is worth very little.
      In politics, like business, if you keep changing you mind every 24 hours and stamp your feet like a two year old when you can't get your own way, people will start to loose confidence in you.

      It's not even about being nice or being nasty I like Ian very much.
      Ian Driver doesnt make Tom King's hand any stronger because he forgets agreements and promises in hours. The question is, can he even believe himself?

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    4. Tom I think this refining and honing of the language, then pasting the resultant masterpiece in several different places as comments, may be the nurturing of a literary enlightenment that will eventually flower – perhaps fruit is a better word - as a councillor posting under their own name.

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