I missed two meetings tonight. I was a bit late getting home from work, and I had stuff to do (like eat something). The first was the Warwickshire Fabians, which is just being set up and will be organising political debates and education locally. At least I won’t have been given a job.
The second was at the Town Hall, where the council discussed the recent Independent Remuneration Panel report. This is the one that proposed a modest 45% increase in the Leader’s allowance, but expressed opposition to the way that the new management arrangements had been set up and that ‘individuals involved’ appeared to have been directly lobbying.
Did Humprey and his Tory pals accept the report? Nope.
There’s one part that they don’t like. The bit that recommended:
That the review of the current interim management arrangements be brought
forward to early 2011 and that this should entail a cross party review of
governance arrangements, to include:-
- The appropriate level and structure of officer resources
- The political executive structure, taking account of the requirements of the Local government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007 to amend executive structures
- The role of Leader, incorporating the detailed experience of the interim arrangements
- Any governance implications of the developing Coalition Government agenda for Local Government
Which is contrary to what the Tories wanted – which was to keep the arrangements in place, unreviewed, until May 2012.
But the cheek of the Tories now is amazing.
Firstly, they claimed that this (the lack of review) had been agreed on 10th August with no dissent. In fact, it was agreed on 27th July (behind closed doors), and Labour councillors voted against.
Secondly, they claimed that opposition was from people ‘not on the electoral roll’ and had been co-ordinated. As far as I am concerned that is totally untrue. I have acted on my own accord, without being directed by others or directing them (not that I haven’t conferred with people who have also been appalled at Humphrey’s actions, and I do have my sources, but we shared information). I am on the electoral roll, and used my correct name and address when contacting the Council. Some of the opponents are well-known as having been Tory activists in the past, for heavens’ sake!
Thirdly, and this is just bizarre, they will hire a firm of ‘Independent Consultants’ to look into it. Yep, that’s right. They don’t want a review that includes the opposition for over two years, but they will pay (and they haven’t said how much it will cost). Of course, if this set of hired consultants happens to suggest, ohhh I dunno, a greater allowance for the Leader, I wonder if I’ll be massively surprised.
While cuts are affecting services around the town, while the Council itself has to await the details of how much less money the Government will give them for 2011-12 so it knows how much more to cut, the Tories decide that Rugby Borough Council can apparently afford to bring in ‘Consultants’ to help them override the report of an Independent panel?
And they’ll openly lie in the Chamber to justify it?
Rotters, cads and bounders the lot of them.