Author Topic: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion  (Read 8291 times)

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Offline Keith

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #20 on: September 26, 2008, 01:36:31 PM »
The Conservative line is that it is up to local authorities to decide for themselves.

It is my line that it is up to the local PEOPLE to decide for themselves.....was this a freudian slip Keith?
No. It was in response to your statement that I wasn't denying there was a party line. If the people want a directly elected mayor then I agree they should have one. Personally I don't think it would benefit Swindon.
Last nights vote wasn't about "Should we have an elected mayor?", it was "Should we hold a referendum now?". Given it would cost circa £100k and a widely publicised campaign across 24,000 homes had gained 46 names in support I voted no.

Last night was a free vote for the Conservative group,

free as long as you did as you were told, eh?   ::)
You may well smile. I was the person who seconded Stan's original motion even though I thought it premature, there would have been no debate whatsoever if I had not done so!

it is just that none of us thought it prudent to spend around £100,000 on a referendum when it was reported that only 46 people had signed a petition calling for one.

The campaign hass't really got started, I think geoff summed up the rational for this very well here:
I would suggest that promotion in a very well read magazine across 24,000 households is a fairly good start, as is the coverage in the local newspaper.

We have deliberately employed a 'soft start' approach to this because we really do want a good quality and informed debate to take place.

As recent events in Stoke on Trent have shown, it is easy to collect the number of petition signatures needed to force a referendum, but democracy in the Borough of Swindon will be better served by discussing this inteeligently from start to finish....whatever the finish turns out to be.

The party politicists have so far demonstrated an unhealthy desire to ignore their past mistakes, rush past any thoughtful and intelligent discussion and move straight towards an end result, which is, so far, almost a carbon copy of the way the council behaved in 2001.   

Yes. We want quality first, quantity later.
I fully support your right to run a campaign and am cycnical myself of what happened in 2001. Last night was different in that we were being asked to hold a referendum at significant expense when a very public campaign across thousands of households had registered a low level of support.
Quality debate is to be encouraged, I look forward to it. Some of my colleagues might even join me...

Offline swindonlinkman

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #21 on: September 26, 2008, 02:05:11 PM »
I was just going to point out that it was Keith who put his hand up to second Stan's motion to allow a debate to happen as his seconder David Wood had been called away by a family bereavement. However he is wrong to say councillors were being asked to arrange a referendum or spend money as the borough solicitor had ruled that a motion proposing expenditure would have to go to cabinet before full council.

The debate ended in confusion as Stan was asked to sum up the debate before the vote on the amendment was taken. Technically Rod as proposer of the amendment should have done this and as it was successful it became the substantive motion before the council which Rod would then have moved. I'm asking Stan to take this up with the borough's legal officer and also with scrutiny. Stan, in the debate, said he would be asking the scrutiny committee to examine the elected mayor issue in greater detail.

As Kieth points out, the issue has been getting big exposure through 27,000 copies of The Link each month (potentially 50,000 plus readers) and more recently through the Advertiser readership. James summed up last night up well in the Adver. and managed to get the paper to give the elected mayors better coverage. (Certainly a much better job than his heavily sub-edited -buried - story of several weeks ago).

Is the low level of public interest because people are not bothered about how the town is run (in contrast to 2001 when there was a positive response to the idea of an elected mayor for Swindon), or are they so thoroughly cheesed off with local politicians that they can't be asked to engage with the issue? On the other hand they might be thinking that the present Conservative administration is so good that they want to see them in control forever.

So, after the warm up since the May Link magazine, Stan's motion has put the ball into play, and the forces of resistance have absorbed the first glancing blows, or is it achieved the first corner? Does the game go on and do those interested in elected mayors start discussing the idea directly to 'the people,' face to face, and seek the support that councillors are encouraging us to do?

Offline Alligator

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #22 on: September 26, 2008, 02:07:36 PM »
The Conservative line is that it is up to local authorities to decide for themselves.

It is my line that it is up to the local PEOPLE to decide for themselves.....was this a freudian slip Keith?
No. It was in response to your statement that I wasn't denying there was a party line.

I see, I think we were at cross purposes.  I understood Geoff's comments to relate to the local party line on Stan's motion, not the national party line on elected mayors in general. 

Therefore my comment was related to whether there was a local tory party line on Stan's motion....afterall that's what is relevant to this debate, here, in Swindon.  As Buster says, Dave Cameron gave the national level view when he came to Swindon and I asked the question.

Fair play to you for seconding the motion, however whether you had done this or not, I think the outcome of the campaign will still be the same, no matter what that ultimately will be.  As I see it, last night was nothing more than a distraction and I didn't particularly support the idea of the motion myself, the result was effectively known before the vote and the actions and comment of particular councillors all too predictable.

Offline Critique

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #23 on: September 26, 2008, 02:28:43 PM »
Is the green reptile counting angels on the head of the pin and ignoring the real-politik? So far, Stan is the only councillor to show any interest in elected mayors in political circles. The reaction was predictable, but he's flushed out the views of some of those who don't support elected mayors, including Nick Martin's gratuitously and shameful personal insults. But then, when you think you're in control, you don't imagine anybody will have a different view.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #24 on: September 26, 2008, 02:49:15 PM »
Welcome to TS Critique  O0 - This is the only forum on God's Earth where we can enjoy posts containing sentances like

Quote
Is the green reptile counting angels on the head of the pin and ignoring the real-politik?

 :D (actually... not strictkly true - I think Rob has posted links to places where asking about the intentions of the Green Reptile is quite common...)

I do not agree with what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it - [attributed to] Voltaire... 'Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessita' - William of Occam.... 'You have a right to feel offended, but just cos you are offended doesn't mean you are right'

Offline Alligator

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #25 on: September 26, 2008, 03:58:11 PM »
Is the green reptile counting angels on the head of the pin and ignoring the real-politik? So far, Stan is the only councillor to show any interest in elected mayors in political circles. The reaction was predictable, but he's flushed out the views of some of those who don't support elected mayors, including Nick Martin's gratuitously and shameful personal insults. But then, when you think you're in control, you don't imagine anybody will have a different view.

Assuming I'm the green reptile you're referring to, I don't I'm missing anything, but thanks for your concern.   O0  I guess I place less relevance than you do on the views of those people in 'policial circles'.  On this issue I see the views of councillors as being irrelevant, if I was to say anything to support the motion, I would say that September 2001 proved that they put themselves and their parties first, that they vote in herds and that we shouldn't assume that they're free thinking individuals, last night only served to prove that this is still the case.

This issue has legs of its own and will run and run, regardless of what happens in the council chamber.

Offline Critique

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #26 on: September 26, 2008, 04:47:48 PM »
So, its time for 'the people' to get off their proverbials and do something to show councillors that they're wrong. And I don't mean continuing to bat ideas and commentary around in the forum. Or as Lenin famously asked in a rhetorical book title: 'What is to be done?'

Offline Mart

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #27 on: September 26, 2008, 08:38:14 PM »
Well, I for one am not joining a bloody revolution and marching through the snow to celebrate the glorious wossname, nor am I going to shoot the Royal family in a cellar.

Key to the problem, I think, is this statement:

The debate ended in confusion as Stan was asked to sum up the debate before the vote on the amendment was taken. Technically Rod as proposer of the amendment should have done this and as it was successful it became the substantive motion before the council which Rod would then have moved. I'm asking Stan to take this up with the borough's legal officer and also with scrutiny. Stan, in the debate, said he would be asking the scrutiny committee to examine the elected mayor issue in greater detail.

Technically as the proposer of the amendment? Did he have to roll up a trouser leg and intone an incantation in Latin as well, substantive motion? That would translate as they can't take a crap without permission from the party whip presumably, and this was just so Rod could have a movement? I also see that scrutiny is a group activity, a version of dogging presumably?

Methinks that a local authority somewhere near you is in danger of disappearing up it's own bottom, no wonder the public thinks political types, even those at plankton level, are more interested in their own party fun, games and perversely complex counter productive gibbering than what us 'Joe Public' is fuming about, it'll be an ego thing presumably.

Which all kind of illustrates why an elected mayor would be a 'Good Thing'.

Nice job on the tree by the way, you all share responsibility. (Responsibility, look it up)
Sometimes I think you have to march right in and demand your rights, even if you don’t know what your rights are, or who the person is you’re talking to. Then, on the way out, slam the door.

Offline Critique

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #28 on: September 27, 2008, 09:25:27 AM »
I don't think Swindon Council is going to be disappearing anywhere. The day to day reality is that they will keep delivering services, the various inspections will award them stars and comment on whether the council is improving, the Advertiser will report it, the controlling councillors will proclaim how well they're doing and ask people to keep voting for them, and the 20%-25% hard core voters will continue to turn out when called. The rest of the citizenship will continue seeing the electoral process as not much to do with them, but also moan when the services on offer don't come up to their expectations. The challenge is to explain to them where and how an elected mayor could make a difference, but somebody now has to take steps to start that process at a practical level. 'What is to be done?' as I quoted earlier.

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Re: Councillor Pajak to Propose Local Referendum Motion
« Reply #29 on: September 27, 2008, 12:16:57 PM »
So Justin doesn't like PR voting. Could that be because, no vote is considered a wasted Vote. Real democracy occurs under this system, in the 2004 EU elections UKIP secured 2.4 million votes because people understood that this would give the parties MEP's, if the same principle was adopted in local and GE's, there would be a fairer Parliament and LA's. We wouldn't have this ludicrous situation where dependent on which major party got in would dictate policy direction at the expense of the people.

I am personally undecided as to whether we should have an elected Mayor but I am certain it should have been the councillors who took a decision to have a referendum, and as for using the possible spend of £100k as an excuse for not, well it defies belief given the millions that are paid over to consultants and quangos in our name for things we do not want.

But it has shown the public what self interest there is by both main parties. It shouldn't surprise us though given that the PPC's and MP's for Swindon, with the exception of UKIP will happily disregard the call for a Reform Treaty Referendum if they are elected, even though Justin and Rob claim there should be one, they will happily serve in a Tory Government that won't hold one.