Saturday, 13 December 2008

I’ve upset the Mayor!

I have been told I’ve upset the Mayor! He apparently claimed at last night's Full Council Meeting that I'd been very rude to him. I can’t remember being rude to him but I do remember attempting to represent my constituents and being denied the right to do so. The Mayor claims he got upset when I challenged my exclusion from observing a cabinet discussion. The topic of discussion being an investigation by “external advisors” (Consultants) on the senior management structure of Hartlepool Council. These Consultants are receiving half a million pounds of public money! It seemed to me only fair that the public’s elected representatives should be allowed to know what all their money has been spent on?

The Mayor reportedly feels that when told to leave “his” meeting I should have gone without protest. I believe that excluding me was illegal and unconstitutional and ultimately it came down to a vote of 6 – 1 by Cabinet to have me removed. Perhaps the Mayor would prefer the old Soviet system where people like me daring to ask questions could be shipped off to Siberia? Of course the Mayor referred to “his” meeting showing he seems to have forgotten it is a public meeting that he is chairing on the publics’ behalf. It’s not “his” Council, the employees are not “his” officers and the millions of pounds spent by the council is definitely not “his” money.

Too many people in public office forget who their bosses really are and where the money they spend comes from! To paraphrase Tony Blair, “Politicians are the servants of the people NOT their Masters” Maybe some politicians on Hartlepool Council should think about that?

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