Tuesday, May 29, 2012

A Bizarre World of Parish Politics

Yesterday's story on Mike Harrison's Facebook woes popped-up on the BBC's South-east news last night, (watch it here) with his insistence that it was all part of some strange plot to discredit him. I can only remark that when my time comes to be 'hacked', I would rather have a hacker who can spell.

In response to an email to all councillors from Mike, denying responsibility for what was written, I have suggested he report the matter to the police, as this now looks much like a criminal offense, involving both hacking and homophobic remarks. A complaint would swiftly help to clear his name, as the police would very quickly be able to identify the source of the posts.

Some good news, of course, is that Margate will take a £100,000 share of the £1 1/4 million in the 'Portas Pilot' to resurrect failing High Streets and Thanet also receives some £4 million to bring empty homes back into use.

Today, sadly marks the funeral of Cllr Brian Goodwin at the Thanet Crematorium at 4pm and I took this sunset photo yesterday 'in memoriam', so to speak. A great many people locally, will miss his cheery good humour and his personal sense of optimism to the very end.

I was somewhat surprised to hear that Labour were already campaigning in Westgate last Saturday morning, where my sources report that Cllr Iris Johnston and the fledgling Mayor of Margate, Will Scobie, were out  collecting signatures, with Will's girlfriend, Jodi Hibbert  the new Mayoress of Margate.

Starting a local election campaign in advance of the funeral of the last ward Councillor, is considered by some here, as both disrespectful and the height of bad manners and I'm struggling to understand why Labour might want to deploy Jodi Hibbert as their candidate for the Westgate ward. Perhaps someone can enlighten me?

Over at the Birchington Parish Council last night, the excitement was never-ending. The packed meeting was to elect a new Chairman and officers, with the public, once again waiting to see if Cllr John Worrow might make an appearance to face his public.

Cllr Worrow didn't disappoint and with his help, TIG managed yet another political coup, with Cllr Jack Cohen, receiving enough committee support to take the Chair of the Parish Council from Linda Wright by a margin of one vote.

Item 8 on the Parish Council agenda was public speaking and this was exactly the opportunity a number of people in Birchington were waiting for. Even Harvey Patterson, Thanet District Council's,'very own legal eagle' had been dragged along to deal with the some of the anticipated questions to Cllr Worrow and Cllr Dr Cohen, from Heather Seer and the aggrieved members of Minnis Bay Watch.

Just before the item was called, Cllr Worrow, stood-up, gave his apologies, 'an important meeting to attend' and promptly walked-out, to jeers and catcalls of 'Coward' from some in the hall

So, once again, it appears that Cllr Worrow has ducked-out of taking any responsibility for his statements and avoided the most fundamental democratic interaction with the people who once voted him and quite likely will never vote for him again.

I wonder how long this 'carry-on' style of parish council political farce will continue in Birchington? With Cohen, Worrow, Furness and La Roche in control of the village,  the answer is without doubt, 'as long as it takes.'

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

That's what happens when no one is bothered to stand up in the village for election. There have been two opportunuities for parish elections in the last year and there have not been enough candidates, so these people just walk in. I presume that we, as ratepayers, are not going to pay for Harvey to attend after hours - the bill for that rests with the Sober Jack and Blunderboy. COME ON BIRCHINGTON RISE UP AND GET THEM OUT!

roger lathford said...

Simon, as one who attended last night I was absolutely "staggered" in fact speechless!! when Cllr Worrow excused himself from the Parish Council meeting immediately pior to the Adjournment for the Public to ask questions, so that he was not available to answer questions from members of the Public, who for the second consecutive time had appeared at a Parish council meeting to ask their elected Member questions .
Cllr Worrow must surely understand that as a Parish Cllr his duty is to be available to take questions, and I can assure him that he can continue to "run, but he can not hide" the public will want answers to so many questions and the longer he absents himself, the greater the concern of the residents.Last night was also once again an opportunity for him to apologise for his "disgusting attack" on Minnis Bay Watch.
Lastly it should be noted that he did not take one Committee appointment, but became quite agitated over getting his presence on KIACC, Given that Labour voted against the Airport and Worrow and his TIG Group voted with Labour , I fear for any worthwhile solution for Manston and future job opportunities for Thanet.

Anonymous said...

Politics in Thanet inthe last six months has not been so corrupt since the days of Cyril Hoser - and we all know what happened to him. There are good guys still on both sides - but will they stay after this shambles?
If Labour can't sort this out they need to hand the toys back because their actions at present are going to consign them to the opposition for a long time after this. Everytime the electorate are in doubt they just need to be reminded - look what happened when Labour were in charge. As for starting canvassing before Brian Goodwin's funeral - what do you expect, they clearly have no morals, all they want is power....at any cost.

Tom Clarke said...

Ultimately this lunacy in local governance will become public knowledge further afield, making Birchington a place to avoid. That should do wonders for the local property market.

Anonymous said...

It just show you what a distasteful lot Labour are, the man isn't even cremated yet. Well let us hope that they don't go around plugging the mayoralty in their election leaflet as we alkl know the Mayoralty is not political ( or shouldn't be!!)
Don't know how she would have the time with 2 small children.

Tom Clarke said...

Let's be fair, the young, even mayors, are not that well versed in protocol and good form, so young Scobie probably thinks its a clever wheeze to start campaigning while the opposition are at a funeral.

If this was not all so distasteful it would almost be funny. Surprised at Iris though for one would have thought she had learnt a bit by now. Seemingly not!

Anonymous said...

UKIP have been delivering leaflets for at least 2 weeks!!!

Anonymous said...

Sounds as if all those named above have watched too many episodes of The Vicar of Dibley where they learned their ideas of how local meetings are conducted.
Surely time for Private Eye to publish a Thanet Special ... there's certainly enough material.
Or maybe their just following the example set by our one-time MP J Aitken Esq?

Anonymous said...

So that makes it OK then, 9:32? Do you break wind in the cinema because the person in front of you has?

Anonymous said...

There is a rumour going round Birchington that they have a Cllr called Worrow who is apparently very important, as he is the leader of political party Called Thanet Independent Group (TIG)which has three cllrs,and his Blog Agent. Regrettably his Agent seems to have dissappeared, if you know where David Fox is, will you please let Worrow know as he does'nt know where to contact him, thank you for any help you can give the TIG Leader

Ethelbert Square resident said...

It's all very sad about Brian Goodwin and I wish his family all the best at these bad times.

Hopefully we will get a Councillor elected to replace him in Westgate who is just as committed to helping people as he was. I hear there is an independent standing and maybe a TIG as well. Labour and UKIP are by the sounds of it standing. Anyone know if the Conservatives or Lib Dems are standing candidates? Could there be a coalition candidate?

Caring Resident said...

There will ceratinly be a Conservative Candidate, but unlike Labour, TIG and UKIP they are standing by the common courtesy, decency and respect for the late Brian Goodwin and for his grieving family before starting to campaign

simon moores said...

Note said Cllr Ian Driver being interviewed by BBC last night.

Council Diversity Champion's big opportunity one might think but not a sound, not a word or even a faint 'Tweet' from that direction.

1 o'clock Rob said...

No 1. Mike originally said his account was "fraped" which is Facebook slang for leaving oneself logged in and someone you know posting comments "as you". To later say it was a "hack" makes one wonder...

No.2 Happy to hear that Margate gets a share of the "Portas Pilot" although I fear that the cash amount won't cover much.

No 3. It makes me a bit queasy to hear that Cllr Johnston and Cllr Scobie Jnr were out campaigning before Brian's funeral. Any decent person or political party would have waited until a few days after the funeral as a way of paying their respects and out of human decency to his family... tut,tut!

and finally...

No 4. Hearing that Cllr Worrow ducked out of the Q 'n' A at Birchington Parish shouldn't be a surprise to any of us who have followed his antics since election. Maybe the "important meeting" was to be held with Kent Police who one hopes are investigating the homophobic hate calls and texts he has recently been the victim of... or if we never hear anything about them ever again maybe he had to pick up his dinner from the Royal Dragon.

James Maskell said...

There should have been no campaigning till the week after the funeral, out of respect for the family. Sometimes people forget the reason we are having a by-election in the first place.

Anonymous said...

Have you ever met Jodi Hibbert? Her looks alone are enough to get most heterosexual men to vote for her. Will is a lucky, lucky man!

Anonymous said...

What a nasty b*stard you are for even publishing a comment like that Simon!

simon moores said...

Thanks for pointing that out. I had missed reading that one properly among several published from my iPhone. At least someone was watching. Thank you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for deleting it Simon.

simon moores said...

Youre welcome 7.11 but I really wouldn't want to put Jodie in the harsh spotlight of Thanet politics