Di­nosaur DNA

The Wokingham Paper - - VIEWPOINTS -

The front page of The Wok­ing­ham

Pa­per (Novem­ber 29) states that the Ex-Coun­cil Leader is ‘crit­i­cal of old boys net­work’.

By old boys net­work I as­sume she is talk­ing about the rul­ing Ex­ec­u­tive who she and she alone chose all by her­self and who I guess played a ma­jor part in her down­fall. It will be in­ter­est­ing to see how many of the old use­less Ex­ec­u­tive Mem­bers the new Leader re­tains. Even the re­ten­tion of one of them will be a clear sign to res­i­dents that res­i­dents are ir­rel­e­vant in Con­ser­va­tive think­ing un­less it ap­proach­ing elec­tion time when they have their uses as vot­ing fod­der.

The ex-coun­cil leader added she was striv­ing for a pol­i­tics with res­i­dents at the heart of what the coun­cil did and ci­ti­zens did not feel dis­en­fran­chised in their deal­ings with the coun­cil. 20-odd years of Con­ser­va­tive rule and they are only get­ting the mes­sage now. I doubt it.

Her deputy, Cllr Pauline Jor­gensen – who takes over tem­po­rar­ily, showed her true blue colours by bru­tally slam­ming the In­de­pen­dent Renu­mer­a­tion Panel (IRP) in the press be­fore the Coun­cil meet­ing.

The IRP gave up a con­sid­er­able amount of their own time for noth­ing to eval­u­ate Coun­cil­lors pay and al­lowances. Sadly only half the coun­cil­lors even both­ered to see them.

Cllr Pauline Jor­gensen even had the au­dac­ity to an­nounce the Con­ser­va­tive in­ten­tions by the use of the Coun­cils own Demo­cratic Ser­vices Of­fi­cers

to email all the other op­po­si­tion Coun­cil­lors of the Con­ser­va­tives in­ten­tions for the de­bate that evening. Her ac­tions killed any chance of an open, trans­par­ent and hon­est de­bate on the IRP pro­pos­als. This was clas­sic Nasty To­ries at their very worst.

Need­less to say the IRP re­signed en masse. This is the third IRP to re­sign after be­ing treated so badly by the Con­ser­va­tive rul­ing party and to put an end to it Cllr Jor­gensen sug­gested that all the po­lit­i­cal par­ties got to­gether to agree the terms by which fu­ture IRP should work. Does she not get it that the I in IRP means In­de­pen­dent not to be ma­nip­u­lated by the rul­ing party.

In the same pa­per Tony John­son, in a very bal­anced com­men­tary, hit the nail on the head “ig­nore re­al­ity and end up hostage to for­tune”.

Prob­a­bly but I would dis­agree with his other as­sump­tion that po­lit­i­cal di­nosaurs (Wok­ing­ham’s Con­ser­va­tives) might want to change. Di­nosaurs have dis­ap­peared from the face of the earth be­cause they did not have the DNA to change and Wok­ing­ham’s Con­ser­va­tives are no dif­fer­ent so in next May’s elec­tions let’s start to show them the road to obliv­ion. It’s what they de­serve after 20-odd years of mis­rule and dis­trust of its res­i­dents.

I won­der also if the new leader will have the guts to dump Coun­cil­lor An­thony Pol­lock, one of the failed old boys net­work di­nosaurs after his un­civilised, undig­ni­fied ref­er­ence to a de­ceased res­i­dent which got a rip­ple of laugh­ter from some of his fel­low Con­ser­va­tive di­nosaurs. Ut­terly dis­grace­ful. He has no right to rep­re­sent us with pub­lic com­ments like that.

The Coun­cil de­bate on a res­i­dents pe­ti­tion of 4,000 res­i­dents was quickly kicked into the long grass to be laid to rest with Clive Chafer’s pe­ti­tion of our dis­as­trous roads along with our stal­wart lol­ly­pop ladies.

Don’t be­lieve a word that was promised at Coun­cil by the Con­ser­va­tives as it was all mean­ing­less. The North­ern and South­ern Parishes with sim­i­lar pe­ti­tions will go the same way what­ever the out­come of these sham coun­cil de­bates. The Con­ser­va­tives words and prom­ises mean ex­actly noth­ing.

The other head­line men­tions Dr Phillip Lee MP stand­ing side by side with his lo­cal coun­cil­lors to fight a po­ten­tial devel­op­ment of 80 houses in Fin­champ­stead but where is John Red­wood MP when huge tracts of our coun­try­side are threat­ened with devel­op­ment in Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough.

Cllr Gary Cowan In­de­pen­dent

Bor­ough Coun­cil­lor for Ar­bor­field at Wok­ing­ham Bor­ough Coun­cil.

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