Tuesday, 28 May 2013

My week ahead 29 May - 2 June 2013

Wednesday 29 May – 9am, Planning meeting

7pm, Ipswich Town FC Independent supporters Trust meeting

Thursday 30 May - 2pm, Councillor training on use of social media

Saturday 1 June - 10am, Labour campaigning, North West Ipswich

4pm, Labour post-election party

Sunday 2 June – 2pm, Brunswick Road ‘Big Lunch’ – Brunswick Rd Park

The murder last week of a young soldier on the streets of London was a reminder of the dangers myself and fellow servicemen faced in the 1980’s – then the threat was from Irish extremists – who not only targeted soldiers but also our families. I thought and hoped those days were well in the past but the murder of the young Drummer in Woolwich showed that the enemy may have changed but the threat still continues.

The aftermath of the murder and the actions of the English Defence League also make this a week that will have a lasting effect on this country. I will write a more detailed post about the events of the last 6 days later in the week.

Last week we had another North East Ipswich Area Committee meeting, as this was the first meeting of the municipal meeting a new Chair had to be elected (or the old Chair – me – re-elected)
When it came to the election of the Chair one of our Labour members was stuck on a train so the Tories proposed Cllr Pope to be elected as Chair whilst my colleagues proposed me. The vote was 4-4 and a second secret ballot was also 4-4. Standing Orders then state a Chair has to be nominated for the meeting and the Chair of the committee will be elected at our next meeting.

Cllr Stroet again suggested Cllr Pope stating that I might learn from watching another Chair I action, from his tone it was obvious that I had plenty to learn.

Now if you read Ipswich Spy – or the Tory blog that just copies/steals posts from others you will know (according to them) I reluctantly seconded Cllr Pope! Now I was disappointed that the Tories decided to try and score cheap points over the election of the Chair but I then decided to quickly second Cllr Pope rather than have another 4-4 vote and leave the meeting to be chaired by an Officer. The reason I did this was that I was sure the many residents who had turned up for the meeting were there to hear about matters concerning our local area rather than witness petty party squabbling and this seemed to easiest way to get the meeting to go ahead as planned.

Now ‘Ipswich Spy’ does declare itself to be neutral and even though the main contributor is a former Tory councillor ‘Spy’ does attempt to be neutral but in this case he has just taken a story direct from a Tory source as he was not at the meeting or bother to check the facts with myself.

Did I learn anything from Cllr Pope as he chaired the meeting? Not really but he did do a good job and it became obvious that he had as much difficulty as I do in stopping Cllr Judy Terry from acting as if she is running the meeting!

So what now for the committee? Fortunately work on the action plan can continue as Cllrs have volunteered to lead on the 3 main points – all Labour Cllrs as it seems the Conservative councillors have decided not to get involved in working on the action plan (that is for the benefit of their residents)

After the meeting it was obvious that Cllr Carnall thought it was all a great laugh and said it was our fault for not making sure we had all our Cllrs present, he then seemed surprised when I informed him that not one of the 3 Tory Cllrs in the South East had turned up for their last meeting. At least Cllr Pope was more constructive and we agreed that we would hold a joint meeting with officers to plan the agenda for the next Area Committee.

But after the events in Woolwich the behaviour of the Tory Cllrs seems even pettier that it seemed on the night.


IpswichSpy/BR said...

Sorry Alasdair, I am still struggling to understand what your concern about our article is? Since none of the facts are different in your version?

Is this just an attempt by you to have another go at me for being a former Tory?

I have attended all the other Area Committees in this round of meetings, but that evening I had a different commitment elsewhere in the town.

I was sent the information late in the evening and since there seemed little doubt about the facts, I ran the story. You seem to have written an entire post about using the word Reluctant. Does this mean you were eager to second Cllr Pope? From the description you give here, you sound very reluctant indeed.

As for petty politics, I recall your group removing David Hale from the ruling Tory/Lib Dem coalition with the help of Dale Jackson, simply because the numbers added up that day and you wanted to cause mischief. What goes around, comes around.

Alasdair Ross said...

Reluctant - I seconded Richard straight away, I was just disappointed by the Tory behaviour.

Your post also reads that as soon as our late arrival turned up, we attempted to have another vote. This was not the case. At the end of the meeting one of our Labour Cllrs suggested a vote then so we could have a chair in place to set the next agenda and attend the Area Committee Chairs meeting and also continue with the other jobs of the chair. We were then told that was not possible.

As I stated in my post, Cllr Pope acted in far more sensible manner than others and we agreed to have a joint meeting with officers to help set the next agenda.