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Little wonder that Rotherham Council is so poor – there’s a distinct lack of scrutiny or oversight provided by the so-called Tory opposition!
There are 7 Tory Councillors on Rotherham Borough Council but what do they spend their time doing? They must all be asleep during Council meetings or absent as few of them has ever been reported as raising any issues with the ruling Labour Group over recent years.
What’s the purpose of having an opposition when they don’t ‘oppose’? Or could the answer be that they are content to take their Councillor allowances, do very little and join in with the ‘troughing’ and ‘social life’ that Councillors appear to enjoy and value above all else?
In my opinion, they act more like an Independent group, showing a lack of co-ordination and direction, presumably with a Group Leader who takes a Leader’s allowance but doesn’t seem to be ‘leading’. It seems to me that Rotherham Politics provides more scrutiny, oversight and comment on the antics of the Council than the official ‘opposition’!!
If the Tories claim to be truly opposed to what the Labour Group is doing, then they should form themselves into a cohesive group, elect themselves a Leader who gives leadership and supports the Group and starts doing what they are on the Council to do!
One of the complaints, often levelled by critics of this blog, is that we rarely feature anyone else other than Labour on Rotherham Politics. The simple fact is, we are about holding those in power to account and that would be enough to explain our apparent bias but there is another reason why we have paid the opposition scant attention in the past. They are quite simply, so bad, that even their own members are embarrassed!
This year sees four Tories facing selection/reselection battles of their own:
Anston and Woodsetts Ward: Good candidate required for safe Tory seat? last one walked off and joined Labour, so much for ‘cuddly’ Tories, it would seem?
Boston Castle Ward:
Brinsworth and Catcliffe Ward:
Hellaby Ward: John Turner – Con
Rother Vale Ward:
Rotherham East Ward:
Rotherham West Ward:
Sitwell Ward: Middleton, Christopher Norman Con
Wales Ward: Thomas Anthony Fenoughty – Con
Wickersley Ward: Martyn Lawton Parker – Con Ward set to go back to Lab.
Even worse than Labour! At least Labour members do something for their money, instead of ‘taking the money and running’, as the Tories have done for many a year!
Quite simply, the Rotherham Tories are a disgrace, and are taking the mickey out of their electorates even worse than Labour!
Tory Peer Lord Hanningfield, 70, is in the news today because of his pre-trial hearing at Southwark Crown Court. He has been charged under his real name of Paul White, with six counts of false accounting relating to claims made between March 2006 and May 2009.
Lord Hanningfield was formerly the Leader of Essex County Council having stood down and he is suspended from the Tory party and the Lords Whip. His trial is set for May.
Not unsurprisingly, another Tory, an MP this time and a Government whip no less, Bill Wiggin is in difficulties over at least one claim, the money finding it’s way to the local Tory party! He has been reported to the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards over claims of around £5,000 paid to his constituency Tory Party. He says it was for one thing on the claim but his local Tory party apparently have a quite different understanding?
I opened my Advertiser this week. On page 3, I was surprised to see Reg Littleboys’ face grinning, rather vacuously, out at me as part of a story entitled ‘We’re all in the same boat’. I read on with amazement and not to say increasing ire!
What a stunt to pull! A cut of 1.1% for all staff including the Chief Executive, Martin Kimber. A cut of 1.1% in councillors allowances, so they can claim to be sharing the pain equally! Even the Tories on Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council were well out of touch with public sentiment on this issue proposing a miserly 5% cut for the next financial year.
The people of Rotherham were expecting a grand gesture this year from their community leaders. A recent canvass of views on this, indicate that significant reductions in the ‘fat cat’ salaries, expenses and allowances were favoured by most and the most popular figure indicated as the minimum acceptable cut being 20%.
It is little wonder then, that most consider their community leaders to be motivated largely by personal greed, certainly not public service!
This stunt, to put it into some perspective, will likely not be enough to save even one whole job, big deal! Do they think we are stupid? They are certainly taking us for a ride! For the Town Hall ‘Fat Cats’, the ‘gravy train’ still runs from the station, it would appear?
As far as I am aware, only one political group in Rotherham is in touch with public mood on greed. They have called for reductions of significant proportions, of the order of 40%! This group are the Rotherham Independents and some of Rotherham’s voters will get the opportunity to vote for one of their candidates in May.
David Cameron, it has been announced, has appointed Andy Parsons as his personal photographer, at a cost of at least £35,000 per year. This is in addition to the appointment of Nicky Woodhouse, famous for ‘Webcameron’, again at a cost to us of at least £35,000!
Tony Blair even at the height of his hubris never thought to put a personal photographer and videographer on the public payroll at a total cost to us the tax payers of at least £100,000 once ‘on costs’ are added.
Parsons and Woodhouse are just two of at least a dozen former employees of the Tory Party to have been put on the Government Payroll since the election. Others include, Chloe Dalton, an adviser to William Hague in opposition, who is now a civil servant in the Foreign Office, Ameetpal Gill and Clare Foges, have civil service jobs in Downing Street, they were previously speechwriters to Cameron, Sam Freedman, has been made an adviser in the DfE and Rishi Saha, formerly, head of digital strategy for the Tories is now deputy director of digital communications at the Cabinet Office.
Forced to defend this at yesterdays PMQ’s his defence to R’Ed Milliband’s question “Is it really a wise judgment when he is telling everyone to tighten their belts to put his own personal photographer on the civil service payroll?” was pretty pathetic given that he must have prepared to be asked this question, he merely stated, pretty limply, that his government was slashing Labour’s spending on communications and publicity.
This kind of behaviour from a coalition Government, committed they claim, to the National interest does not look at all as though they understand why the public have so little confidence in politicians or the broken political system.
We deserve better than this! The government must stop this profligacy, Now!
As the Tory Party gathers in Birmingham for their conference, delegates are dismayed that their celebrations have been ordered ‘put on ice’, for fear that images of conspicuous consumption and celebration would become public and not look at all good in this age of austerity.
Mobile phones and Youtube, now terrify the Tories as much as Labour it would appear. The Labour Party were said to be terrified last weekend, when the ‘brothers’ were celebrating their victory over both members and MP’s, that footage would make it online.
Lord Strathclyde has already cancelled his latest, ‘legendary’ champagne soiree at this years conference, on Dave’s orders.
The disgraced Tory, Lord Taylor of Warwick, full name John David Beckett Taylor, appeared at Southwark Crown Court over the parliamentary expenses scandal today in a plea hearing.
He has been charged with six counts of false accounting.
The first charge alleges that on or around March 31 2006 he dishonestly submitted claims for overnight subsistence and car mileage, stating his main home was outside London when he lived in the capital.
The other five charges allege similar claims were made on July 3 2006, October 31 2006, April 5 2007, July 2 2007 and October 31 2007.
He will be back in court again, More then.
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