Wednesday, 12 December 2007

Questions and Motions

Unfortunately being the "only UKIP on the Council" makes it difficult to get motions for debate onto the agenda as it needs four other Councillors to sign the draft motion. However, there is still "Question Time" which allows Back Bench Councillors such as me to table questions to the Mayor and his Cabinet. So my Questions to the Mayor for Full Cabinet on December 13th are as below.

  1. Will the Mayor please provide an update to this Council on the status of the Anhydrite Mine Investigations?
  2. The notice for my last ward surgery included information in several languages other than English. Given recently published guidelines by the Labour Government that translation into languages other than English should only be carried out in a targeted way would the Mayor identify which communities and approximately how many individuals, within the town and St.Hilda Ward in particular, are being targeted by these translations?
  3. Will the Mayor join with me in congratulating Jason Anderson and the team at Radio Hartlepool on their achievement in obtaining their broadcast licence? Will the Mayor also consider inviting Radio Hartlepool to broadcast the proceedings of Full Council Meetings so that the people of Hartlepool would have the opportunity to listen to the deliberations of the Council over matters of importance to them and the town?

Interestingly enough there is also a motion for debate put forward by the Independent (Administration) Group which refers to the EU Common Fisheries Policy and another motion about Post Office Closures. Both of these are obviously subjects dear to my heart but I was not asked if I wished to support either motion, even though there is a Post Office in my ward and both the other two councillors (Independents) which represent my ward did sign that motion.

When I found out about these motions I e-mailed the Leader of the Admin Group to tell him I was disappointed not to be asked to sign them. His reply was quite illuminating.......

I received your e-mail on Motions for Council. These were raised at our last meeting and all agreed, so they had first call on signing them. This has nothing to do with co-operation, and everything to do with a group signing there own motions. If we were short on those who wished to sign then I would of gone outside the group looking for support for them.


I felt it was a bit sad that the Admin Group appear to be behaving in exactly the same way as the other Political Groups on Hartlepool Council. If a post office is under threat then surely a motion signed by all three of the Ward Councillors is a stronger statement than a motion that excludes one of them. Similarly a motion referring to the EU Common Fisheries Policy would of course have my support and possibly the support of some of the Tory Councillors as well. The decision to snub me was even more bizarre given the political manoeuvring the current "leader" of the Admin Group is up to behind the scenes and of course he wasn't that reticent when asking me to second his nomination as Vice Chair of the Council last May!

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