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.