ABC

ABCIt looks like a childish ploy, calling yourself ‘ABC’ just to be first on the ballot paper. I think this alone says enough about Anthony Brian Chytry’s unsuitability for public office. ABC are his initials – mine are JGStJWL, but I can assure you that if selected in 2016 I will be standing under my proper name.

It gets worse for Mr Chytry when you read the drivel contained in this leaflet. For starters he claims that local elections cost £200,000 per year in Southend-on-Sea – the actual saving is closer to £50,000.

He writes of wanting councillors “to take a cut in Wages, Benefits and Expenses”. We get an allowance (not a wage), and whilst I personally would have no issue with a review it is a far from straightforward process. Besides, I am striving to improve living standards for everyone, including those who choose to serve their community in the council chamber.

Mr Chytry does not like the Cabinet system, presumably because it concentrates power in the hands of just eight councillors. He then argues for a directly elected mayor, which concentrates power in the hands of just one person.

Mr Chytry claims that no councillors were present at the Stand Up For Southend Libraries march. This is untrue. I, and most of the Labour Group, were there. I have also been at least one public meeting on this specific issue. I am the Treasurer of Southend Against The Cuts (and have been for the last three years) – my presence at many (although admittedly not all) public meetings, marches, and demonstrations is a matter of public record. If Mr Chytry reads this I trust he will issue a retraction and apology.

He claims that other political parties have universally adopted his “Cleaner Greener Safer” campaign (from 2010). Another terminological inexactitude. Labour in Southend-on-Sea has used this since at least 2004 – I should know, it was me that suggested it.

There is more, but you get the gist. The whole leaflet is woeful, inaccurate, and self-contradicting. For instance, how can you complain about a lack of democracy and too many elections?

It could be argued that the presence of a second Independent on the ballot paper enhances Labour’s chances of success in St Luke’s ward, however I think that Gray Sergeant is the stand-out candidate who does not need this sort of help. Whilst party politics does occasionally take a battering, an inspection of the alternative reveals why they are needed.

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5 Responses to ABC

  1. Alan Grubb says:

    Speaking for my self i think that it is now time we as residents of the borough were able to elect a mayor, not have one imposed on us by the fellow councilors. other towns/city’s allow there residents to elect a mayor and with the right remit in place it does work quite well.

    The present cabinet system does not work for the benefit of the town or the residents, it concentrates to much power in the ruling party, who then proceed to elect to the positions members of there own party, who not always the best person for the job.

  2. Irene Grubb says:

    I myself was on the March and rally that day, their was cllr Gillbert, cllr Ware Lane, Cllr Collins, Cllr Morgan, sorry If I forgot any other cllr. So what the candidate A B C is saying is untrue. Councillors get expenses and not wages like A B C claims, yes I agree that some councillors expenses are to high and expenses should be set at a reasonable figure and maybe cuts to expenses should be done, If possible.

  3. does not like the Cabinet system, presumably because it concentrates power in the hands of just eight councillors. He then argues for a directly elected mayor, which concentrates power in the hands of just one person.

    time we … were able to elect a mayor, not have one imposed on us by the fellow councillors.

    The only reason I can see for putting “One person in charge” is if we believe that is the best way to manage a local authority. But how do you measure best? If you are talking pure efficiency (as in “making the trains run on time”), yes fine put an autocrat in charge – at least it will be an elected dictatorship (and an elected mayor is a very different beast from an imposed “ceremonial” mayor – even with a casting vote). But, if best has something to do with trying to find a consensus satisfactory to the maximum number of people, the old committee system (with councillors of all parties actively involved) has a lot going for it.

    There is a wider need for an informed discussion as to the type of government (at all levels) that we actually want. Currently we have an indirect democracy where we elect representatives to bodies (councils, parliaments) that are meant to be “representative” (despite the voting system) and which then either explicitly or implicitly “elects” the ruling group – whose leader may then select a cabinet etc. The only current exception (for most of us) are the Police and Crime Commissioners who we directly elect – and who are meant to be “better” than the indirectly elected (but more representative) police authorities that we used to have.

    We are a confused electorate – we have “Presidential Style” election campaigns and debates – but we do not elect our prime minister – we elect MPs. But partly because of this confusion we have reduced many of those MPs to being “on message” lobby-fodder party-clones to support a “presidential” prime minister – and then we complain about the quality of our MPs!

    On balance I favour indirect (parliamentary) democracy to direct (presidential/mayoral) democracy. It is not as “binary” and does not concentrate power to the same extent and allows for more shades of opinion.

  4. Alan Grubb says:

    An elected Mayor (a person who is elected by the residents not by fellow councillors) only has as much power as the position allows. Therefore i=t could be the resident who decides the amount of power.

    One question you might ponder is Southend Borough Council used to have a local listing policy (Policy to list properties of merit, SBC have now despensed with this policy and is now in the process of producing a new policy. The old listing policy was despensed with about 18 months agom we still do not have a new policy in place.

    Any responsible authority would not have left the town without a means to preserve our history.

    One such is the tunnals under the old Ekco site.

  5. Pingback: Vote Southend 2014: what does a vote for the Independents get you? | A Mad Man With A Blog

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