Thursday, 17 February 2011

Pink footed geese at cabinet and the superior Glover

This morning's Sefton cabinet dealt with some pretty weighty and difficult issues to which I shall return. They are important matters and deserve careful reflection.

In the meantime let me leave you with a couple of anecdotes. Firstly on the pink footed goose, these can be found in their hundreds on our coast line at this time of year. The Marshside RSPB reverve is an excellent place to go and see them.

We were discussing the requirement to identify building land. This is a sensitive issue and we are due to go out to consultation on the matter later this year. Mrs Parry (Conservative, Blundellsands , campaigner for street trees) was very exercised about one site in her area where previously the Rugby Club had sought to erect a couple of small out building and had been refuse permission because of the presence of pink footed geese. She was less than amused to discover the self same place was now being identified as potentially a  site for a housing estate!

Now you would imagine that if there is a matter that the Conservative Leader should turn her attention to  it would be preservation of that genuinely endangered species -the Southport Conservative. The numbers have declined rapidly and  we have now reached the critical stage where there have been more sightings of 'unofficial conservatives' in the council chamber than fully fledged members. 

Mrs Parry's response to this desperate situation is not to seek a rapprochement with the intellectually and numerically superior rebels but rather to emulate the Queen of Heart in Alice and go around declaring 'off with their heads'

She began at the last full council meeting when she removed the three rebels from all their committee places . There is a convention in Sefton that we do nor interfere with the nominations made by other parties to the places on the council committees to which they are entitled. Now despite loosing 4 members in one night (One to UKIP and three to independent Con) she clung on to their places meaning that the tiny official Conservative group now has more and therefore more allowances on average per member that the rest of us.

This morning she was at it again; 'Off with their heads!'  She raised the issue of the council's representatives on outside bodies. She wished to remove all four of the rebels from every activity they undertook on behalf of the council. Because these three had had the audacity to challenge her authority -an appeal is pending to the national party-she was going to render them non members with no role in the council. Of course there are enough of them to form an Independent group and so get representation in their own right. The only difficulty there is that whilst their appeal is pending they do not wish to break away and so burn their boats. They are local true blue conservatives -many would say much more recognisably so than the motley crew of minority  official Conservative in Southport

We got to Mrs Parry's attempt to move former Tory Leader Tom Glover OBE from a NW fishery board which he chairs. The suggestion was that the Lib Dems would fill the post! Anyone but Tom it would seem. Now frankly party politics apart we have been offered this before and decided that Tom is better placed than any of us to do this job. So we refused the nomination and sort to reinstate Tom. In the end the matter was deferred for further discussion.

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