According to a leaflet that came through my door this week it is (apparently) a fact that no Conservative Councillor voted for the Chief Executive's Pay rise. Well that may well be true BUT I suspect that would have been just as accurate to say "it is a FACT that no Conservative Councillor voted AGAINST the Chief Executive's Pay rise"
During my time on the Council I noted a distinct tendency for the Conservative Councillors to vote with their Labour colleagues. If they didn't vote "for" then they often tended to abstain, but never, or very, very, rarely did they have the backbone to vote against. I seem to recall the Lib-Dems mostly did the same. They rarely actively opposed anything by voting against the Labour Whip, they just didn't vote for it.
Year on year increases in Council Tax, unopposed by Conservative Councillors who then tell you they didn't vote FOR it.
Freedom of Hartlepool for Peter Mandelson, unopposed by Conservative Councillors who then tell you they didn't vote FOR it.
I don't think abstaining is what most people want from their councillors! They want people who speak their minds and nail colours to masts. A weak exclamation "I didn't vote for it" is just pathetic you also didn't take the opportunity to vote against it.
Mind you look at the voting record of some of the "independents" on Hartlepool Council and they are hardly good examples of active opposition to the Labour Whip. If you act like a Labour Councillor, talk like a Labour Councillor and vote like a Labour Councillor then have the balls to stand for election as a Labour Councillor. Don't hide behind another party or a claim to be independent!