Saturday, 14 December 2013

The art of opposition

I have already commented on the lengthy council meeting on Thursday evening. Further reflection leaves me bemused at the Independent Party's tactics. The intriguing thing is that their Leader Martin Terry clearly feels that they provide effective opposition and no doubt feels that he is a strong orator. Regrettably I don't agree with either view. Whereas members from other groups are more selective and focussed on items they feel need scrutiny Martin and his colleagues favour more of a scattergun approach. Personally he seems to feel the need to speak to more items than most other members and his contributions are not limited to minutes which his group have reserved for debate or where he appears to have given particular thought as to what he wants to say. The 2 items that the Indies concentrated on were the debates on the proposed Shoebury Common Flood Defences and Priory & Delaware homes. However whilst they tried to argue against both decisions they had taken the decision not to refer the items up from scrutiny to full council. This is a straightforward and regularly used device whereby any 2 members can refer to matter up and full council then acts as scrutiny committee and if it disagrees with a decision can refer it back to cabinet for reconsideration. So long as 2 members make the decision they don't have to win a vote at scrutiny and as there are at least 2 Indies on every scrutiny this is within their power. As they had chosen not to refer up full council could only debate the subject without having any effect on the decision. As it happened the Administration was 3 members light for the meeting caused by Gwen Horrigan's departure and illness to the Mayor Brian Kelly and my Deputy Leader John Lamb. This meant that the opposition groups could, if they were agreed and united, outvote us on any vote and could have referred the matters back. If there is a hidden tactic they have got me fooled!

No comments:

Post a Comment