I refer to district councillor Melanie Baker’s letter in last week’s publication.
Ah yes, I see from the MHDC website that not only has Coun Mrs Baker stepped down from her position on the Standards Committee, but her Executive colleagues (Coun’s Paul Cumming and Paul Swinburn) have also now stepped down. Does this mean that they have finally acknowledged the constitutional requirement that members of the Executive Committee are prohibited from being members of Standards Committee?
At last someone has the courage to challenge the pernicious propaganda of UKIP that has sought to make racism mainstream.
While other countries have often in times of hardship victimised and blamed ‘outsiders’ of various kinds, that’s never been the British way.
We have a very proud record of welcoming those who face persecution in their own countries, and those who want to come here to make a better life for themselves, just as over a million Britons have chosen to move abroad for a better life, moving to Commonwealth countries, France and Spain and elsewhere in Europe, relying on their services and their infrastructure.
It is about time we ended the UKIP scaremongering and focused on facts. Don’t allow yourself to be diminished by looking to blame others. We are better than that.
It looks as though the proposal to combine the role of CEO between MHDC and Wychavon DC will be moving forward without competitive interview.
The resulting combined population will be 192,000, which represents a significant increase from the present MHDC population of 75,000. Also the number of staff reporting to the new man (it won’t be a woman as the post isn’t being advertised) increases from 170 for MHDC to 405 for the combined post and the budget effectively doubles. Aren’t these very substantial changes in the CEO’s roles and responsibilities demanding a competitive interview process? It isn’t just a question of saving money on redundancy and recruitment it’s getting the right person for a bigger job.
There will also be a consequent increase in the number of counsellors, meetings, committees, presentations etc. that the new post holder will have to deal with. I can imagine therefore that the first task of the new ‘Super CEO’ will be to negotiate a significantly higher salary and benefits for himself.
I’m sure the holder of the new post will be eternally grateful for his new role achieved without competitive interview. We could surely ask if this likely increase in salary has been taken into account in the cost evaluation underpinning the change?
In view of the much larger population of Wychavon will MHDC council tax payers only be required to fund 40 per cent of the costs of the new role, representing a not insignificant saving for MHDC taxpayers?
Oh, bye the way a word of caution, when the new man and loyal councillors move us inevitably toward being a unitary council there would be 59 Conservative and 25 other councillors under present ward arrangements which doesn’t bode well for healthy democracy?
My congratulations to two very wet but sporting local politicians, Hannah Campbell and Julian Roskams, who stepped up to the mark and underwent the slight indignity of a refreshing shower of ice cold water in support of charity.
I understand that Council Leaders Hughes and Swinburn, were similarly challenged but refused. Shame on them.
Where in the world would you find so-called ‘local’ government ruled by autocracy, dictatorship, totalitarianism, monocracy, autarchy, despotism?
Count those not members of the ruling Conservative party, you will find that every elected councillor at MHDC would describe that ruling clique in the above terms.
The first past the post system clearly does not favour the majority of those that vote. Take the Malvern Wells election as a prime example; as I predicted, there was just so much candidate opposition to the Tory leadership that the number of anti-Conservative candidate choices simply split the anti-Conservative vote.
May 2015 could be a watershed for local politics, but only if the majority of anti-Tory voters seek out a candidate that has a reputation for constantly seeking resident’s and their representative’s opinions, and crucially, is prepared to sign an oath that they will not permit or call for gagging of the resident’s elected opposition, allowing a debate to be cut short.
The general election, district council election and Malvern Town election will be a smoke and mirrors affair; many voters will be encouraged to vote along party lines regardless that ‘district’ and ‘town’ elections are not even about national politics.
About 70 per cent of local voters are so turned off by politicians that they will not vote, even though some local candidates are not party-aligned and agree wholeheartedly with freedom of speech and the value of debate that represents true democracy.
Tory votes hold up strongly, supporters introduced to the importance of voting by their parents; something has gone badly wrong, Tory councillors and leadership no longer represent true Tory values.