Author Topic: Story in Adver - Nick Martin  (Read 26151 times)

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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #100 on: October 29, 2012, 08:07:56 PM »
Quote
... And I'd say 'some' were talking errant balls to try and down-play an issue which Nick Martin himself unnecessarily blew into a storm. Unless of course you believe that the pre-panel Adver vstory wasn't an orchestrated PR release?


I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin  :coffee:

Offline carole bent

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #101 on: October 29, 2012, 08:33:46 PM »
The TV was on in the background in my house on sunday  & if I heard it right - there was a big feature on the BBC West politics show about the upcoming election for a mayor in Bristol . I think that there were c 10 people putting themselves forward to be spokesman and role model for the town - lots of competition for the role , lots of different perspectives seemed to be on show.
I could be naive, but it didn't seem like an automatic choice.

There were also a couple of other politicians speaking about the importance of the role - not only as a spokesperson to represent and speak up for Bristol - but also as in important face - and spokeman for the whole of the West country.

As I'm not knowledgeable enough about these things, I'd be interested to understand more... what does a mayor do in their role?  what skills / qualities are needed ?The impression from the Politics show was that it is an important and professional role - I thought  it was a valued role geared towards goodwill relationships on a more local level ... less external "ambassadorial " duties ?
I may well be wrong as I didn't pay enough attention to this - so appreciate a better explanation if possible!





Offline I Could Do That

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #102 on: October 29, 2012, 08:43:54 PM »
I don't think it means so much in Swindon as it's just another cabinet councillor taking "their turn"
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Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #103 on: October 29, 2012, 08:49:24 PM »
The Mayoral position being contested in Bristol is a real position of power - Swindon Councillors opted to choose the Strong Leader and Cabinet model citing little interest in the Mayoral model of local government for being the reason.

The Mayoral post in Swindon is largely ceremonial and was always intended to be a reward for Civic service as opposed to party political support.

 

Offline carole bent

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #104 on: October 29, 2012, 10:01:41 PM »
Thanks for explaining - seemed like a bit of disconnect so its good to understand why.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #105 on: October 29, 2012, 11:05:56 PM »
The Mayoral position being contested in Bristol is a real position of power - Swindon Councillors opted to choose the Strong Leader and Cabinet model citing little interest in the Mayoral model of local government for being the reason.

The Mayoral post in Swindon is largely ceremonial and was always intended to be a reward for Civic service as opposed to party political support.


I didn't produce the threatened sermon yesterday, but this re-hash of a post I published more than four years ago should serve instead.....

....readers from Croft will notice a familiar face in this sad tale of banana republic politics.


How and why Swindon voters were deliberately denied the chance to choose who leads the Council



In April 2008 an Institute of Public Policy Research report confirmed that elected Mayors have proved highly capable leaders overseeing improvements in the performance of their councils and developing innovative policies. The IPPR argued that having more towns and cities with mayors could potentially reinvigorate local politics.  It also recognised that the current system is biased against introducing them and a referendum to elect a mayor can only be triggered by a majority vote from councillors or a petition signed by five per cent of constituents.

The Local Government Act 2000 made local councils adopt modern management structures and for the first time gave the electorate the choice between directly electing a Mayor to lead their council or allowing a 'leader of the council' to be chosen by the largest political party in the council chamber.  The Act of Parliament was meant to further empower citizens to choose who leads them in local government.

In 2001, during a chaotic and angry meeting of Swindon Borough Council, 55 Councillors denied the town, its people and itself a genuine opportunity to improve when it carried a motion rejecting public demand for an elected Mayor and taking the power to appoint leaders onto itself.

As per the terms of the Local Government Act 2000, the public of Swindon had to be, and were, consulted by the council before it changed its constitution.

Unfortunately for Swindon, a couple of ambitious and ideally placed Councillors interpreted the consultation results in a manner biased toward preserving the party-political status quo and presented a motion to the council which recommended adopting the leadership system we suffer under currently because, it said: The public had shown "Little support for elected Mayors" when it was consulted.  Most of know the sort of low quality 'consultation' so often employed by Swindons great and good.

I believe that the motion should never have been passed by Swindon Borough Council on the 27th of September 2001. It is of great concern that the leadership structure the council has used ever since was nodded through without debate immediately after a vote of no confidence in the council and mass resignation of the cabinet. (Read below for more detail)



I Say That...


  • The public consultation data showed a clear majority supporting directly electing a Mayor for Swindon.

  • The report summary contradicted survey and questionnaire results published within the report itself

  • The report summary relied heavily on data obtained at a poorly attended 'stakeholders' conference held 12 months before the format of the public consultation was even discussed

  • The review panel recommendation was based wholly upon a report summary which contradicted its own report

  • The report summary and review panel recommendation were heavily biased in favour of increasing party political influence and reducing that of the public

  • The vote of 'No Confidence' in the council was engineered and executed by two leading members of the 2001 review panel with the 3rd leading member being the intended target.

  • The motion and vote to adopt the leader and cabinet style of leadership should have been postponed after the vote of No Confidence, instead the chief architect of the vote of No Confidence, and leading member for the 2001 review panel, became the first leader of the council under the new constitution which he had already ensured would be adopted


The review panel stated that the leader and cabinet option was the 'preferred' option.  I ask: 'Who preferred it?"   



I Know that...


Sitting on the 2001 review panel charged with considering the reports summary and making a recommendation to the council were the 3 leaders of the the political parties in Swindon. Sue Bates (Labour), Mike Bawden (Conservative) and Mike Evemy (Lib Dem). Each had a vested interest in the leader and cabinet model being adopted.

The 2001 review panel met, reviewed the report summary, and decided to deliver their recommendation to council at a time of intense political and civic turmoil in Swindon.  I think it should have deferred it's decision to a much later date but each of the three thought it politically expedient to push ahead.....

At the full council meeting on the 27th of September 2001 the review panel recommendation was placed, perhaps deliberately, a long way down the agenda at item 59: 'Council Constitution – Recommendations of the Review Panel on Consultation on New Political Structures'.   This important item was preceded by discussions on minimum voting ages, garden composting, Swindon Town Football club, waste plans, bus lanes and the local library plan, but events had taken a dramatic turn before item 59 even came up.

Agenda item 49 was a Motion of 'No Confidence' in the council. It was 'moved' by leader of the Conservative group Councillor Mike Bawden and was only carried with the assistance of the Liberal Democrat leader Coucillor Mike Evemy and Councillors of both groups. (remember that Cllr's Bawden & Evemy were two of the three leading members of the 2001 consultation review panel)

The motion of no confidence was successful. The Labour leader of the council, Sue Bates, and the entire Labour administration, immediately resigned and the council meeting had to be adjourned for about 15 minutes while some order was restored.




The councillors filed back into a chamber which now contained a council with no leader and no executive members.

Even so and within a matter of minutes, every single remaining agenda item, including item 59, was 'put' to a vote and 'carried' with no discussion or debate.  To put it crudely, the remaining council business had been simply 'nodded through', after which the councillors rushed out of the chamber to discuss the nights excitement with their colleagues.  I'm told that Cllr Bawden was 'ecstatic' that his plan had worked.

So, there you have it. A misleading, inaccurate report summary, politicians jockeying for control of your council with eyes firmly fixed on the 'leaders seat', and a successful power grab. In the middle of this political battle your right to choose how your council leader is chosen had fallen victim to party politics and been trampled by councillors determined to retain that power for themselves.

...but you can still choose whether to think of Swindon as a fully functioning democracy, a Rotten Borough or a Bluhnana republic.  That choice can't be taken away from you. Yet.

Thus endeth todays sermon.

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #106 on: October 29, 2012, 11:13:55 PM »

From Swindon Link November 2001

Quote

Swindon to continue shambolic cabinet system, after 56% of citizens panel support directly elected mayor

As the business of the Swindon Borough Council degenerated into chaos on 27 September (2001) after the controlling Labour group resigned following a vote of no confidence, the irony of a decision taken at the very same meeting escaped notice when councillors voted to continue with the leader and cabinet system of local government.

Most people won’t have noticed a consultation exercise by Swindon Council asking for views on three options put forward by central government on how the council should be run:

1.    the present leader/cabinet arrangement;
2.    an elected mayor with a cabinet;
3.    a mayor plus council manager.

Swindon Council did more than many other authorities by circulating every household with a leaflet asking for comment, but without a public awareness campaign for an arcane subject like local government administration, response was always likely to be low.

The report presented to councillors on the outcome of the consultation positively asserts that there is clear support for retention of the existing system. But how clear is this? The details in the report muddies the water.

First, response was perhaps too low to justify such a positive conclusion. Only 9% responded to the household survey and a conference of interested ‘stakeholders,’ a main indicator of support, was attended by under 40 people.

Secondly, a common theme in different consultation forums was a lack of knowledge about the existing system and uncertainty about the options.

Thirdly, the rules were skewed, not by the council, but unintentionally or otherwise by the government, as the vote by those wanting a directly elected mayor was split between two options.

Thus, the Swindon People’s Voice ‘citizens panel’, heavily relied upon in the report’s conclusions, sought the views of 2,640 local residents. Just over 50% replied, the best response of any of the processes used. The leader/cabinet system won most support at 44%.

But if the votes in favour of both systems involving a directly elected mayor are combined, the picture is different, with 56% wanting a change from the cabinet system.

Swindon resident Martha Parry is planning to challenge the proposal by the council to the government to continue with the leader cabinet system, if she can attract 6,000 signatures on a petition. “At present the leader of the council is the choice of a party political group. The benefit of directly electing a mayor is that all voters across the town choose the person who will have responsibility for leading the decision making. It would connect voters with how the town is run and could lead to less partisan behaviour by councillors.”

Might need to split this thread......

Offline Tobes

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #107 on: October 29, 2012, 11:21:12 PM »
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I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin

... then l you must be 100% sure from whence the story did come from...?

Leaked to the Adver by a councillor or officer?
Briefed by Helen Miah?
Briefed by SBC PR?

'sbout the only options.

Do tell.
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 the gorgon

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #108 on: October 30, 2012, 08:05:23 AM »
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I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin

... then l you must be 100% sure from whence the story did come from...?

Leaked to the Adver by a councillor or officer?
Briefed by Helen Miah?
Briefed by SBC PR?

'sbout the only options.

Do tell.

What about a disgruntled Lodge member?  >:D :wink:

Offline carole bent

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #109 on: October 30, 2012, 02:30:21 PM »
Should be working but took a 2 minute break.....interesting to read this earlier post.

"Agenda item 49 was a Motion of 'No Confidence' in the council. It was 'moved' by leader of the Conservative group Councillor Mike Bawden and was only carried with the assistance of the Liberal Democrat leader Coucillor Mike Evemy and Councillors of both groups. (remember that Cllr's Bawden & Evemy were two of the three leading members of the 2001 consultation review panel)

The motion of no confidence was successful. The Labour leader of the council, Sue Bates, and the entire Labour administration, immediately resigned and the council meeting had to be adjourned for about 15 minutes while some order was restored."

Also be interested to hear the answer to the 100% question.

Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #110 on: October 30, 2012, 05:18:33 PM »
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Also be interested to hear the answer to the 100% question.

Couldn't possibly offer any further comment beyond what i have said, which is that Coun Martin did not orchestrate the story.

Offline Tobes

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #111 on: October 30, 2012, 06:29:41 PM »
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Couldn't possibly offer any further comment beyond what i have said, which is that Coun Martin did not orchestrate the story.

What a cop out!

Why? If the knowledge was confidential, you've already buggered that, surely?

All this selective gnostic communication - all very Lodge-worthy, indeed.  :-X

(Oh, which reminds me - earlier on, you complained that described the Masons as a 'secret' society. I noted that was a [deliberate?] misinterpretation of what I said. I said it was a secretive organisation...)  :wink:
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 I Could Do That

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #112 on: October 30, 2012, 06:58:21 PM »
I am 100% sure it was not an orchestrated press release from Coun Martin

What's the point of making such a bold claim then refusing to elaborate on it?
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Offline Mart

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #113 on: October 30, 2012, 07:34:15 PM »
P'raps it just wasn't orchestrated.

Not much seems to be orchestrated at SBC except shambles and that's a bit of a paradox now I think of it.

Maybe it was an inadvertent press release accompanied with a gentle 'I couldn't possibly comment'. A negligent oral discharge if you will.

I know, but you don't, is a bit shit though and hardly in keeping with this forum.
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 Geoff Reid

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #114 on: October 30, 2012, 08:02:20 PM »
The only time(s) I've ever claimed to be100% positive that someone else could not have done 'x', was when I'd done it myself.  ;D

Offline Mart

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #115 on: October 30, 2012, 09:29:09 PM »
The only time(s) I've ever claimed to be100% positive that someone else could not have done 'x', was when I'd done it myself.

Which is normally when I claim I didn't do it.

I don't even know what it was I didn't do most of the time.
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 I Could Do That

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #116 on: October 30, 2012, 09:58:01 PM »
I wasn't even there at the time.....

Whenever it was
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Offline Mart

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #117 on: October 30, 2012, 10:13:17 PM »
Whenever what was?

I can see a whole career unfolding in front of me. Government spokesman.
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 carole bent

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #118 on: October 30, 2012, 10:31:52 PM »
 If its right to ask  for greater openness and transparency from certain councillors... shouldn't this standard apply more broadly?

 Des - by writing  that you are 100 % certain that a statement wasnt given by a particular councillor - don't you feel that  think you should be open and transparent by saying how you know?

Bearing in mind peoples lives have been affected - seems right to me - or am I being too idealistic?






Offline Des Morgan

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Re: Story in Adver - Nick Martin
« Reply #119 on: October 30, 2012, 10:48:27 PM »
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Des - by writing  that you are 100 % certain that a statement wasn't given by a particular councillor - do you think you should be open and transparent by saying how you know?

Actually no I don't think i am under any obligation to explain how i can be so certain.  It's for you and others to either accept or reject my comment.  I was answering a query raised which made a suggestion that Coun Martin might have been a lead party in releasing the news to the press. I know that to be 'not the case' and as such i thought it proper to say as much.

It's not a cop out.  I answered a legitmate query with an equally legitimate answer.

Not sure how asking councillors to be open and transparent equates to me having to do anything beyond assist in preventing people from making a false assumption. Of course whatever i say can be disregarded if you believe i would deliberately lie simply because Coun Martin is a Freemason. I would hope people on TS know me well enough to know that I would not lie nor would i seek to let a wrong assumption gain a hold in peoples minds.