Thursday, 21 May 2009

A vote of no confidence for Thanet governance

Policy #1: sack the Gang of Four.

With Messrs Ezekiel and Latchford facing another leadership challenge the time is right to introduce a public vote of no confidence – and schedule another council leadership challenge.

2 more years of incompetent government is simply pointless for our lame duck MP’s and Councils: as with Westminster’s MP’s they should go and go now.

Clearly our MP’s have indulged in the Westminster culture of using the ACA allowance as a top-up of salary.

Only now under FOI are the last 4 years receipts about to be released.

The previous 10 or 20 years worth of claims will never be released.

Only now are all expenses claims required to have a receipt rather than those over £250.00.

Only now are salaries of all staff required to be detailed and one of the last grey areas of hiring family as another secret top-up of salary be detailed.

Derek Conway is the first high-profile MP who was unable to detail why a high salary was paid to a family member – and no work was ever provided.

With an MP paid £64k there will be some explaining to do on family salries that match or exceeed this figure for admin support work. The "manure and moat" parliament is undergoing a thorough clean-out

Thanet’s councillors claim about £600k or so in various salaries/allowances.

But these figures don’t include all costs, expenses – and crucially pension payments.

Thanet’s senior civil servants claim salaries of c.£100-130k each but again these don’t include all expenses, costs – and again crucially pensions.

Why are pensions important?

They maintain the lame duck system of clinging onto power for no purpose other than collecting the pay cheques.

For MP’s no MP will resign during his term as their civil service pension would not be paid.

For civil servants, there are at least 4 types of civil service pension and the unspoken assumption that these are paid regardless of performance.

As MP I will end both these 1970's trade-union-style “Spanish practices”:

MP’s can be “called in” by 10% of the electorate in a public petition

The termination of civil service contracts can include pensions

Without the effective public scrutiny of elected officials and the scrutiny of civil servants by elected officials the danger is that we have a corrupted system of governance.

Effective government provides transparency to then judge the value of the monies paid for the work done.

Clearly with TDC rated as one of the worst governed areas in the UK by the Government itself it’s hard to justify pay rises, high salaries, hidden expenses and the like.

Unless by educing transparency you can delay scrutiny and the inevitable questions asked and ultimately P45’s.

Clearly the Gang of Four: Messrs Latchford, Ezekiel, Samuel and White have been unable to improve the area after many years and simply have neither effective nor credible policies:

#museums closed
#night flights
#election ferry that don’t fit the harbour
#Chinagate trips on public time and the developer’s dollar
#Polluted drinking water (any councillors raised this at TDC or KCC yet? Try Paul Leinster, Head of the EA: after 3 months I've still received no information on toxin levels from my FOI/EIR request)

And our MP’s are the same. The only time Thanet has been raised in Westminster is for Roger Gale’s “Olympic Airport” ludicrous plan to stimulate a failed aerodrome.

If this is the calibre of our political leadership then no wonder the water’s polluted, the museums closed etc etc.

Because only incompetents would be able to take £20M in public money each year and spend £15M on internal council salaries - and achieve nothing except a reduction in public services.

And claim that things are improving.

That’s not governance – it’s failure.

Time’s up fpor Thanet's "scum and scoundrel" council.

Steve Ladyman cannot win the next election. A falling majority of 664 votes means his seat is one of the most marginal in the UK. The recent furore over MP’s expenses means almost any Labour MP if not any MP in the current Parliament will struggle at the next election.

And Silent Sandys is silent with Roger Gale acting as her mouthpiece while she is at Tory Head Office

Failed. Failed. Failed.

Sack the Gang of Four

Close Manston airport

End Chinagate: return the £25,000 donation, call in the UNIDO-CGP-SEEDA contract, and end CGP involvement

Time for Change.

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