The period between the election and the first council meeting provides no significant news although various things go on behind closed doors; there’s the new set of councillor mugshots for a start!
The Labour party elected Alan Deadman as their leader and newcomer Abena Oppong-Asare is to be his deputy. The Cons have landed themselves with Teresa O’Neill again and Gareth Bacon has grabbed another £4,398 from the public purse by getting himself the deputy’s job.
Given their emphasis on independent thinking I’m surprised the three UKIPpers have elected a leader, but they have. He is Colin McGannon, deputised by Chris Beazley. Probably they will take over a broom cupboard for an office because the pressure on space in the new Civic Offices already puts it at a premium. It was not designed with more than two political parties in mind and there is no office space available for UKIP. You can be sure that they will be given a difficult time and now that The Great Dictator has decreed that opposition councillors may only ask questions in proportion to their numbers at council meetings you can expect UKIP to be squeezed out altogether with their representation at under 5%. We shall see, or possibly not…
It has been decreed that the public is to be deterred from attending council meetings in future by being required to sign in and carry a pass if they wish to enter the council chamber. I wonder how that will work when something contentious is on the agenda and attracts 50 or so people, all showing up five minutes before the start, but maybe the council has an answer for that too…
They are going to webcast the meeting. Wow, we have come a long way since Cheryl Bacon was prepared to break the law - and did - to keep her voice off the record. The estimate was that webcasting would cost £20,000 a year to maintain such a service, a service that no one at all asked for and which after an initial flurry of interest will be forgotten by almost everybody. But Bexley cannot afford the small subscription to Open House Weekend.
The council meeting is going to be very boring, all housekeeping stuff for the coming year, fixing their allowance, organising their committees, approving the clamp down on questions; all that sort of thing. No questions from the public and none from Teresa’s flock designed to boost the Tory’s election chances.
In other council news - of a sort - I received an email which suggested that Mark Charters was God’s Gift to Bexley and the Isle of Man; oh you may as well read it yourself…
Your comments on Mark Charters are incorrect. Mark is one of the good guys who cares about the people receiving services in Bexley. He has been battling the management board and mad politicians to try and keep our services going. That's why they were keen for him to leave. I for one, as a resident of Bexley would like to see more people like him running the council. I hope you put this on your site. The children you quote were harmed by their parents, not social services.
The writer is wrong to say the earlier comments were mine; they came in one case from another anonymous source, just like him, and another source which I could guess at; however I don’t know Mark Charters at all for he has never said a word at any meeting I have attended. A search across Bonkers reveals that until this week his name popped up only in connection with his generous salary.
As for the children being harmed by their parents, well yes, but I do have a whole load of papers from the Rhys Lawrie case and the neglect by Bexley council is all too obvious. On the other hand the council officers named in those papers and implicated in that disaster extend only to Mark Charters’ deputy. Make of that what you will.
The citizens of the Isle of Man appear to be apprehensive.