Friday, 12 August 2016

Councillors rushing to criticise colleagues often get it wrong but the damage is done!

Redcar and Cleveland Councillors are at their best when they work together

I was disappointed yesterday to read a post on the Facebook page of a fellow Councillor, a Labour member for Coatham Ward, sniping at me in a very patronising way. It claimed I should have contacted the Council before complaining in the press about the lack of action to repair Redcar Town Clock (see previous item below).

The comment attracted some rather nasty comments in support including one from the other Labour Councillor for Coatham Ward also suggesting I should do like him and contact the Council.

Had they bothered to check they would have found that I DID contact the Council first and I got a very helpful response. However, the number of people who contacted me to complain about the clock not working was the reason why I felt it a necessary and newsworthy action to press release my comments and publish them in my blog.

In addition to that I also complained about the fact that the Council appears to be the only local authority in the country that plants green shrubs in flower beds and boxes.

Two entirely different issues but linked because the Labour leadership of Redcar and Cleveland likes to cut maintenance budgets when faced with having to reduce spending so that people notice and they can then blame the Government.

Both these Councillors post numerous stuff on Facebook daily and send out press statements. It is a bit rich to criticise me in such a patronising way when they do exactly the same themselves.

This reminds me of a similar incident in May, shortly after I received the honour, after 31 years on the Council, of being elected Deputy Mayor. The Council's only UKIP member posted a rant on Facebook about him not getting elected as the Vice-Chairman of something because some of my Lib Dem colleagues had refused to vote for him in spite of a deal agreed between opposition members. 

He singled me out for criticism because, he said, he had voted for me to become Deputy Mayor and I had not voted for him. This vote took place before the vote for committee chairs and vice chairs. This posting prompted a comment from an Independent Councillor claiming that he did not want to vote for me but did so because the UKIP Councillor said he should. Another person claimed I was a "low life."

The truth is I DID vote for the UKIP Councillor and not only that I later strongly criticised my fellow Lib Dem Councillors for not supporting him as well. The Lib Dem Group does not have a whip so members are free to choose but I felt they were wrong on that occasion.

The UKIP Councillor later apologised but the damage was already done, my daughter and granddaughter had already read the comments, which had upset them and no doubt many others would have believed them.

There is a code of conduct for members but some members think that allowing others to make nasty comments on their postings is a way of subjecting opponents to abuse without them being responsible. I beg to differ and would delete any such comments

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