June 13, 2014 4 Comments
It looks like the excitement of toppling the Conservatives from power in Southend-on-Sea has gone to some people’s heads; one or two are giving the appearance of being drunk on success.
In the local print media I am seeing all sorts of pronouncements regarding policy U-turns and new initiatives, pronouncements dressed up as facts when in reality they are, at present, a wish-list.
For example, headlines quoting Cllr Terry announcing that the plans for the Shoebury sea defences have been scrapped are wrong. The previous administrations plans are being reviewed, and whilst they could be scrapped equally they could get another endorsement.
These sorts of decisions will be taken by the fifty-one councillors who represent all within Southend-on-Sea, not by one excitable portfolio holder. I am minded to mention that those in the Independent Group who consider the Cabinet system imperfect should remember that a decision taken by one is even less democratic.
I am compelled to issue an arithmetic lesson too. A two thousand signature petition does not mean “the people of the town rejected the proposals” – this is less than a fifth of one ward, and under 1.2% of the population of the borough.
Any new proposal is likely to mean additional borrowing, and I have no problem with sensible borrowing, yet the noises from the Independent Group on this subject have been somewhat shrill. They will have to re-think their attitude in this respect.
I am in the administration too, and I am pleased with the reviews. However, I am concerned that review outcomes are being pre-judged.