Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010.
I’m being “Vexatious”
Reviewing 2009 I realised I ended the year in dispute with Hartlepool Council over secrecy and behind closed doors decision making. Thos was actually exactly the same way I started 2009. Not much progress there you might think but I am a couple of steps close to achieving a more open council. (More details here). The Chief Solicitor is now of the opinion that my requests for information could be seen “vexatious”. I’m looking forward to seeing his justification that an elected Councillor trying to discover what Hartlepool Council is doing is “vexatious” It should make interesting reading!
I’m the Hardest Working St.Hilda Ward Councillor. That’s OFFICIAL!
Hartlepool Council have introduced a new scheme to measure how much work a Councillor does. I was apparently the second worst Councillor for going to meetings in 2007-8 but I am now the hardest working of the three St.Hilda Councillors according to the 2008-9 figures which placed me =31st out of 46. The other two St.Hilda Councillors being 37th and 43rd out of 46. (More details here).
Mandelson, Freeman Of Hartlepool
I was one of the handful of Councillors who objected to the way the Freedom of Hartlepool was awarded to Lord Mandelson. In my opinion he did nothing for Hartlepool other than use it as a safe seat for his political ambitions. Mind you, the Labour party have abused Hartlepool for years and the people still vote them back in! They say people get the government they deserve. Just look at the lies told by labour about Hartlepool Hospital! I hope everyone remembers this at the next elections. Read More here).
Steel Making and Corus Closure
Every government since 1972 has collaborated in the slow death of UK steelmaking. I said at a Hartlepool Council Meeting that, “So long as the UK remains in the EU then steelmaking will continue to die and will eventually disappear totally from the UK” There was not one single Councillor in the Hartlepool Council Chamber who dared to contradict me! No matter how much they may now demand action to save steelmaking the Labour, Liberal-Democrat and Conservative Parties have all actively participated in killing steelmaking in the UK and they know it! (read more here).
Where do I start? Of course there will be no doubt that regardless of what really happened the Tall Ships will be a huge success for Hartlepool, bring in millions of pounds and create hundreds, if not thousands, of jobs and put Hartlepool on the international map for other reasons than having Peter Mandelson as a Freeman and a monkey as Mayor. Yerr, Right! I just hope everyone enjoys the Party. The Council Taxpayers will be paying for it for years to come! Read More here.
Just in case anyone cares I have never claimed a single penny in expenses for any Council business. When first elected I did take a fax machine as I was told it was important to be able to receive information that way. I think the only time it was ever used I had to get a new printer ribbon as it had dried up completely. In the spirt of "payback" I'm more than happy to return it to the Civic Centre. When I was first elected I also took a shredder but it was so inadequate to the job I bought an industrial size one myself. I'd also be happy to return it to the civic centre! I didn't take the Filing Cabinet as I already had one myself. I don't get a council laptop or anything like that.
Where to end?
I started this entry with a note about secrecy and behind closed doors dealings. It was agreed that the Councillors’ Register of Interests was going to be available on line this year. Unfortunately it has yet to appear. If anyone would like to see mine however it is here on my blog.
I could go on and on. The scandal of the Headland Residents living with dust from the Port Operations (See here) is something that needs to be dealt with in 2010 and the success story that is the Heugh Battery Trust should be celebrated (See here). My initiative to get live internet streaming of meetings in the Civic Centre will also continue in 2010, this however is being resisted by the Council as a whole, possibly because they are scared that the residents might find out what really goes on! Anyway, enough for now.
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2010 to everyone.