Monday, March 05, 2012

Standards Committee to judge on Cabinet Member

Take a look at this
It is the report going to RCT Standards Committee on Wednesday following an investigation by the Ombudsman into allegations against Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member for Education Eudine Hanagan.
The Ombudsman finds that there is sufficient evidence of breaches of the Code of Conduct to refer the matter to the committee.  They can impose a sanction of up to 6 months suspension.  Whether or not they will is another matter entirely.
The report makes interesting reading for several reasons. It exposes the attitude of Cllr Hanagan and, in my opinion, her extreme naivety if not ineptitude.
It also shows yet again the hypocritical nature of the Labour group.  Their submissions constantly refer to the happenings in the Chamber that night as being part of the cut and thrust of debate.
Yet these are the same bunch who has been responsible for a stream of complaints against Cllr Mike Powell and indeed some against Cllr Bell for far less than this.   Councillors who pretended to be so upset over Mike referring to them as ‘hypocritical parasites’ (cut to the quick they were, such a personal attack on such lovely people) appear to think that Cllr Hanagan rubbishing John Bell’s professional ability as a EBP mentor is nothing more than banter.
The attitude of Labour Councillors is appalling – and for once available in black and white for all to see.
Teresa Bates who states that “I tend to switch off when Cllr Bell speaks.”   Cllr Craig Middle says the reaction of others was “amusement and bewilderment.”   (to potentially libellous remarks?)
I particularly like the comments of Paul Cannon – who is a particularly obnoxious character with ambitions to become Police Commissioner.
"I remember that after the meeting in the foyer outside the Chamber, Cllr Hanagan was approached by Ms Karen Roberts, a former Councillor, and an active Liberal Democrat (the same political party as Cllr Bell) and threatened her with the words “we’ve got you now.”  This suggested the attack was premeditated."
Premeditated?  Hanagan launches an attack on John Bell about his work and we have planned it?  I’m good but not that good, especially when I was in the public gallery.  And come on people 'we've got you now' does that sound like me?  I seem to recall it was more of a friendly smile and a "you messed up a bit there didn't you?" - she wasn't impressed.   But then this is the woman who once launched an attack on me in the car park in front of an Echo journalist for nothing more than being with Mike Powell at the time.
Cllr Jackie Jenkins “I tend to switch my brain off.” Really?
Cllr Jayne Ward says she sits behind Cllr Hanagan and cannot hear what is said if she is not using the microphone, and is across the Chamber from Cllr Bell and did not hear what he said.  Handy for debates then?  She obviously plays a full and active part and understands every time just what she is voting for????
Cllr Mark Norris seems to have trouble with hearing what is happening – odd as I could hear perfectly and I was outside of the Chamber itself.   He apologises for the lateness of his response as the form got lost at home.  Maybe he needs a secretary to organise his correspondence.  Or a sense of priority.
Cllr Maureen Webber states that members did “as always when this sort of thing happens, jeered, booed, told Cllr Bell to shut up.”  Sums up the behaviour of the Labour group perfectly.
The report also highlights the undemocratic processes which operate in RCT.
“You will note that it is the practice ein this Council not to set out a detailed note of the input of elected embers but to record the decision taken.  I took no notes of the exchange between Members at the meeting and the Committee Clerk, as is usual practice, destroyed her notes after preparation of the minutes.”
This from the Monitoring Officer who is supposedly responsible for ensuring Members do not breach the Code of Conduct.   Absolutely disgraceful.
But then democracy is still a word that exists only in the dictionary a far as RCT Labour are concerned.
Compare this to Welsh Lib Dem led Cardiff council where meetings are actually web cast and so there can be no doubt as to what is said.

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