News from British and Canadian Conservatives

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Mayor Making - not the usual tame affair

Last night's Mayor Making will go down in history as probably the most fiery AGM ever, following clashes in the chamber over the appointment of the new Mayor. It was clear from the outset that it was not going to be the usual smooth affair. Cllr Copping (People First) started proceedings with two points of order. One related to the running order of the meeting not being in accordance with standing orders, and they second raised the failure of the new Lib Dem administration to follow protocol and include opposition councillors in discussions about the Mayoralty, prior to the public event. It was a clear shot across the bows of the new leadership to make them aware that they will not be allowed to do as they please with no scrutiny.

Subsequently, when the Lib Dem leadership rose to nominate their chosen Mayoral candidate, the heat was raised further. Cllr Copping took the floor to speak about literature sent to residents in outgoing mayor Janet Andrew's East Ward. The letter, which I have not seen, was considered by many to be nasty and inappropriate, and was signed by the new Lib Dem Mayor for 2007/2008. Cllr Copping related that the incoming mayor had denied any knowledge of this letter, and asked him to confirm that conversation. The new mayor refused to acknowledge that conversation had ever taken place, leading to Cllr Copping swearing on the bible that the new mayor is a "liar"! Councillors Copping and Marsh refused to attend the post-event reception in protest at the mayor's "lies" in the chamber. As a bystander, I can neither confirm nor deny whether these allegations were true.

For me, the most amazing comment came from the "fragrant" Cllr Beaumont, who said to the town chaplain - "I hate it when things get all political". As the politicker-in chief, she really has some nerve. The woman really has lost it. She subsequently had a row with ex councillor Lynne Smith, which may explain her early departure from the celebration.

The evening became even more eventful for me. Someone who I've never seen before walked up to me from behind and punched me, while we were in Jolson's. I have a fat lip this morning, but no permanent damage. I don't know the reason for the attack - I may simply have been in the wrong place at the wrong time. Anyway, the bouncer who was standing right by us refused to take any action. The other bouncers were much more helpful, but were unable to do anything about it by then. The police outside watched him fighting in the street and refused to intervene or talk to him about his assault on me. They did take statements and and will be coming to see me in the week, but I don't understand why they didn't strike while the iron was hot. Hopefully they know what they're doing!


Jae said...

Jolsons? I'm sorry to hear you got hit, but if it's the same people in there as last time I foolishly ventured in then it's hardly surprising. A very unfriendly place indeed.

You do have a thing against poor Cllr Beaumont. She really is quite lovely if you get to know her.

Dan Hassett said...

Jolsons has changed quite a lot over the past couple of years and I've seen a lot less trouble there than in the Priz, for instance.

As for Cllr Beaumont, my problem is not exclusively with her. It also extends to her close associates. I don't like the way they have politicised Folkestone Town Council - all the groups used to work together for the benefit of the town, which is how it should be. Lynne's personal campaign, waged through the local press, was absolutely disgusting. She did a lot of damage without checking facts - if we'd done as she said, then Remembrance Sunday would have been cancelled in Folkestone! It's not appropriate to play politics with that kind of issue.

There are plenty of people who know Lynne very well who would strongly disagree with your last statement. Next week's Herald has more details, I understand, and there's still plenty more which will be coming out over time, especially if she becomes PPC.

I get on very well with some people within the local Lib Dems, which is why I tend to refer to Lynne by name when criticising, rather than lumping them all together unfairly. Those who don't happen to agree with her come in for enough criticism from their own leadership, without me adding to their woes.