Inside the civic

The big news this week, as hinted in my last column, was the resignation of Deputy Lord Mayor Khan as he prepares to once again face the Standards Committee. This is certainly an honourable decision, however why it took so long (and a Labour group meeting) to convince Khan to resign perhaps signifies how unaware certain councillors are about what the public think of their conduct.

The new Lord Mayor steps up next week, and few will be surprised that it is to be Terry Crowe, who was prevented from becoming Deputy Lord Mayor last year due to “other commitments”. Will he break the run of bad luck that has beset the last two Labour councillors to set their sights on becoming First Citizen?

We’ll see…

The announcement of Khan’s resignation was carefully handled, but interesting, failed to mention the other Labour councillor who is also due to face the Standards Committee over the same complaint. A good way to bury bad news?

There have been sharp intakes of breath from some officers at the new committee chairs, which seem to have completely done away with the idea of continuity over the 4 years, and brings a whole new meaning to Councillor Pervez having a ‘Mandate for Change’. There have been some interesting promotions and some equally interesting demotions for those who are deemed to ask too many questions, with others rewarded for their loyalty and given paid positions. However, officers are uncomfortable that Labour have chosen to put some very inexperienced people straight in chairing some quite tricky committees…

Liking the Whip does not always mean you’ll be so handy wielding it.

Meanwhile, the phoney war continues in Trent Vale and Springfields ward, left vacant by the resignation of Sarah Hill. Labour have already been out in the ward, hoping to harden up the electorate to the negative messages that will certainly arrive from every other candidate when someone eventually calls the election, any news on that yet? No rush it’s only been a month so far. The last week of potters fortnight looks a likely date with the Labour group getting lined up to give the minimum amount of notice of the election and holding it when traditionally the workers are away, reducing the turnout and giving them the edge to maintain the seat.

Talking of candidates, everyone seems very tight lipped, though Conway’s City Independents are very confident in their recently selected (but as yet unnamed) candidate, bets are being laid on one of

  • Brian Ward
  • Alan Joynson
  • Mike Barnes

coming out as being the unnamed candidate.

Labour meanwhile are trying to pretend they are just ‘campaigning as normal’ in the ward, however you don’t normally see that many Labour councillors and party members together outside the Civic unless they’re off on one of their infamous “curry nights”…

Labour look set to have an all female short list imposed on them, effectively freezing out former councillor Jeremy Dillon who is thought to want to stand again. Whether Labour can muster enough women to form a shortlist goes without saying… Having lost a sizeable number of members over the Tristram Hunt debacle, leaving them to field a slate of ‘more mature’ (cough) candidates in 2011, must mean there are few left – either male or female – ready to take the plunge and stand for Council.

With Community Voice having ruled themselves out and the BNP taking a break (possibly at Her Majesty’s pleasure?), the only minority party who may take a punt on Springfields and Trent Vale is TUSC, the new incarnation of the Socialist Workers. This might make life a little uncomfortable for a couple of Labour members who found themselves recently photographed in the local paper on a march featuring a Socialist Workers banner. No doubt Regional Office have not seen that yet…

Anyway must dash the battery on my iPad is nearly out.

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