Author Topic: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th  (Read 10785 times)

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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #20 on: March 16, 2013, 03:16:45 PM »
so only those with the equipment and knowledge can find out stuff and give our opinion and isn't Twitting meant to be short and sweet?

Good way of missing out the detail.
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Offline Spunkymonkey

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #21 on: March 16, 2013, 08:29:48 PM »
The twitter story doesn't appear to be online, but I had a free read while waiting for takeaway.

I assume that councillors are too busy concentrating on what others are saying to be able to tweet during meetings. Presumably councillors listen to proceedings otherwise what is the point of being there.  :wakeup:

I think Dale fancies a new smart phone on expenses.  :smiley6600:

Offline Mart

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #22 on: March 17, 2013, 02:40:27 PM »
Are you coming along on Wednesday night to witness this Mart?  Haven't seen you for a while!

The cumulative effects of man flu (surpisingly severe, even by man flu standards) combined with a molar removal (after 4 months of feckin about with infections, mouthwash and antibiotics) and the Eternal Radiance recovering from her op, plus working my feckin b0ll0cks off mean I must sadly decline. The gravy train is noticeably bereft of gravy in the siding I occupy.

I am presently bolloxed with no respite in sight until second week of April, when I shall catch up with everything I ain't doing now.

I expect my aura is a dull brown and I should go and suck a crystal or sumfink, mebbe's peruse the Interweb for signs of conspiracies and complain that people can't see with their eyes shut, hear with their ears closed or crap properly with their heads up their arses.

Or just man up and go to soddin work, same as always.

Isn't self pity cathartic?

Right, over it now. Love to be there, but have an opticians appointment at 18:45 because I'm presently having some difficulty distinguishing my arse from my elbow. You'll have to make do with the usual sarcastic afterthought.
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 bobwright

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #23 on: March 17, 2013, 08:29:58 PM »
Richard - The matter being discussed goes back some time although your recording showed how simple it is. Mark Dempsey and I put forward a motion about 2 years ago. Like a couple of other motions no action was taken until the administration was reminded. The previous response had been fairly negative due to high costs associated with other councils broadcasts. I basically stated there were cheaper ways.

I investigated using the existing Audio/Picture system however the upgrade cost was meant to be prohibitive. It can work in line with the buttons being used for the Audio system however at a  time when we are trying to reduce costs it did not seem right.

I then spoke to Swindon Viewpoint and Radio105.5. Both were positive they could achieve fairly low costs. In addition at Christmas the Christmas Carol Service was filmed in HD and a very good sound/vision quality recording was achieved. I have also said the simplest way would to simply record/stream one of our large screen broadcasts. Even a good quality lap top with a skype link can do that.

You may also recall that Peter Greenhalgh suggested a site like Talkswindon for council issues. I am not sure how much this would cost Geoff however I would be interested.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #24 on: March 18, 2013, 10:05:35 AM »
I see Reindeer Heenan is at it again!!

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10294103.Councillor_wants_meetings_to_be_Tweeted/

Councillor wants meetings to be Tweeted

12:00pm Sunday 17th March 2013 in News

A Swindon Council meeting
A SENIOR Swindon councillor is encouraging members to Tweet during meetings in a bid to boost public engagement in the authority’s decisions.

Coun Dale Heenan, cabinet member for strategic planning and sustainability, is encouraging the use of Twitter and other social media following calls for meetings to be filmed and broadcast live online, which he claims would be costly and less effective.

Officers worked up a feasibility study into webcasting meetings following a campaign by Coun Mark Dempsey, the deputy Labour group leader, who is also Labour’s prospective Parliamentary candidate for Swindon North.

The outcome, to be discussed at Wednesday’s cabinet, says the cost of webcasting with the market leading solution, used by 70 other councils, would be more than £1,000 per meeting.

The report also sets out other cheaper options, including councillors or a volunteer resident recording meetings on their own devices and uploading footage to a free public hosting service; the council buying portable digital cameras, operated by staff members, and uploading the video; or streaming the audio only on Swindon 105.5.

But Coun Heenan said: “People would rather watch EastEnders or Coronation Street than watch a council meeting. I don’t think it will improve community engagement in any way. It’s a late 1990s idea that it will contribute in any way.

“It’s a real shame that, given the priorities and issues facing the borough, this is no more than a distraction and I cannot justify why the council should spend £90,000 over a few years.

”Many councillors already Tweet during the course of the meeting to the people which follow them on Twitter. And we reach a far wider audience that you would if the meeting was recorded.

“I would like to see that encouraged, and maybe there are other ways of doing social media, which is a fraction of cost and is more effective.

“The borough council has over 2,000 followers on its Twitter account. I have 120 and other councillors have 4/5/600 people following them. People can actually ask questions so they are re-Tweeting what we’ve said during the course of the meeting.”

However, Coun Heenan said the council needed to find a way to encourage councillors to use social media properly so it did not become a distraction in debates.

Coun Mark Dempsey said: “I think if we can find a cost-effective way, we should be webcasting.

“Tweeting is a second-hand account of a meeting. Webcasting gives people a first-hand account of a meeting.”


I have the pleasure of watching Council in action.  I have witnessed members reading magazines and tweeting and playing on their computers and not doing what they are there for and that is engaging in the business of Council.  Is this acceptable?  i suggest not!

Unfortunately, the Adver have used a photograph of a Council meeting that is not Full Council, but possibly Planning or the preamble to Cabinet as I can only recognize just one Councillor and is John Ballman.

Being the member of the public who recorded the Budget Debate without cost I just hope they will not send this into the long grass as I expect.

Meanwhile, in St Albans from where I am writing this contribution I read in the Community News that was sent out with the Council Tax Bills:-

Take Part, Influence and Comment

Curious about Council Meetings?  Want to have your say on issues affect the district?

You can Browse the latest meetings and consultations online at www.stalbans.gov.uk.  Many meetings are webcast and you can view them from the comfort of your own home, or in person on the night.  Everyone is welcome.


How nice to feel wanted.  I sometimes feel my presence is tolerated but not welcome.  Anyone else feel the same?

and

unless I missed it St Albans is not one of the examples quoted in the Cabinet papers, so is this facility more widely available than we are required to be believed.

Although I expect they will refuse this facility it will only reinforce the public perception that the Council is an unaccountable necessity that we have to tolerate rather than something that provides us with the services we require.

Time to Change!
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #25 on: March 18, 2013, 12:08:42 PM »
The comments on the Adver article are getting interesting with a notable contribution from our erstwhile contributor Andy Harrison, unless he has reincarnated in yet another pseudonym!

http://www.swindonadvertiser.co.uk/news/10294103.Councillor_wants_meetings_to_be_Tweeted/

sn5 says...
12:26pm Sun 17 Mar 13

Interesting idea, the advantage of tweeting is it is a 2 way process which is better than broadcasting the meeting which is just listening to councillors.

Really, how many people are going to watch the broadcasts of the councillors?

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stratton man says...
12:42pm Sun 17 Mar 13

I expect my elected representatives to be concentrating on business in hand not entertaining their mates on twitter.I am not surprised to see the shameless self publicist Cllr Heenan an enthusiast but am disappointed that Cllr Dempsey who seems clued up also supported this idea.Many Councillors seem to think their vacuous views are of interest to us .I have news for you we dont give a monkeys

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Hmmmf says...
1:51pm Sun 17 Mar 13

I'm sure there'll be legions of 15 year-old girls glued to their smartphones while councillors are busy talking to their 'followers' with their thumbs. Doubtless Twitter will be grateful too, it'll help them hit their $1billion advertising revenue goal this year.

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AndyJH says...
3:00pm Sun 17 Mar 13

I used Facebook and Twitter in meetings to engage directly with my constituents regularly whilst a councillor, much to the distain of some councillors who tried to have me stopped. Rules were brought in by the council so that whist members could post the subjects under discussion and anything that the poster might have said themselves, they were barred from quoting in posts what either other elected members or council officers were saying. Totally wrong as those in the public gallery can post as they will.

As for being distracted, if you can’t multitask a little then you’re not going to be much use as a councillor anyway.

Webcasting meetings is nothing new and has been suggested many times, including by myself and others. I have even gone so far as to suggest that local libraries, which share the same council web server, could be used to allow residents unable to travel into the Civic Offices to ask public questions and view council meetings.

The fear I believe is not with the elected members, nor even the alleged costs, but certain archaic officers who rule the roost in a manner not dissimilar to “Sir Humphrey Appleby” Certain Officers certainly would not want recorded for all time the actual advice that they gave elected members and may well explain why council minutes contain scant details of actual events.

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Oliver Dummassie says...
3:58pm Sun 17 Mar 13

Councillor Heenan seems to be talking with a forked tongue as usual.

Nobody wants edited footage or chosen titbits of information.

If the council is attempting to demonstrate open and transparent democracy then it should not transmit anything less than full footage via a webcast

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LordAshOfTheBrake says...
7:09pm Sun 17 Mar 13

The problem with tweeting is that it will usually be an opinion or an interpretation of what is said; rather than what is actually said.


@AndyJH

The idea that you could accurately tweet in real time what is being discussed whilst being an active participant is ludicrous.

If you think otherwise, I suggest that you use your skills to keep the accurate minutes that you claim are lacking.

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Silver Lining says...
8:47pm Sun 17 Mar 13

Tweets from individual councillors costs nothing, so I guess it's up to them to do it if they feel it's worthwhile. And individual members of the public will decide whether their tweets are worth reading.

Webcasts are expensive though and,given the financial pressures the council faces, I would have thought that it could be used in a better way.

At the end of the day, if anyone is remotely interested in listening to the meeting, they can go along to the meetings and watch them from the public gallery. That is, unless they haven'nt got some paint they want to watch dry!

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Eastern Badger says...
10:16pm Sun 17 Mar 13

This would be another opportunity for Dale Heenan to give a one sided view of council proceedings. It's enough that his picture is associated with every act at the council as portrayed in the Advertiser but his tweets would add to the impression that he believes he is the only one with an opinion. In planning as so many other matters he 'bluffs' his knowledge.

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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #26 on: March 18, 2013, 07:16:44 PM »
Anyone going on Wednesday night to see how the New Leader handles this issue?
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Offline Mart

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #27 on: March 19, 2013, 06:59:08 PM »
Same as the old one I would guess.

All the cobblers about cost are red herrings. They do not want to be watched, end of story.

This one might be a bit smilier on account of his recent 27k pick up though.

Name sounds a bit French for my liking .....
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: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #28 on: March 19, 2013, 10:31:14 PM »
I have an essay to deliver about this but I've also had man-flu which has delayed its delivery.

Recording and making council meetings available to the public should not cost the taxpayer a single penny.

Webcasting, tweeting and using ipads and iphones to broadcast meetings are very bad ideas, as is any 'paid for' solution which gives councillors, offficers or Capita contractors any degree of editorial control.

I'm glad that the report stresses the point that a request to film has never been refused because the presumption should always be to encourage the public to attend and record meetings.

More than happy to consult and discuss various options with any cllr wishing to listen without predetermination or prejudice, afterall, I have track record of, (philanthropically speaking), putting my money and meagre skills where my mouth is.

BTW, I liked that report, in it's own way it's a work of art.  From my perspective 75% of it is irrelevant, 20% interesting but irrelevant and 5% useful.

If only 10 people in Swindon want meetings recorded, and those 10.people are happy to do the recording and make the recordings publicly available at their own cost.....

.....why not just let them get on with it?


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Offline Outoftowner

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #29 on: October 20, 2014, 01:38:31 PM »
http://www.wiltsglosstandard.co.uk/news/11545319.Wiltshire_Council_to_stream_meetings_online/

Quote

WILTSHIRE Council is to broadcast its full council meetings live online from October 21.

The move means that members of the public unable to attend meetings in person will be able to watch meetings live, or later on, helping them to participate in the political process more easily and effectively.

As live streaming and recording processes have evolved and become more widely available a number of other councils have adopted this system.

Ease of access to council meetings may also mean greater transparency and might encourage more people to get involved with their council.

Meetings that are not viewed live will be available for up to six months to view any time online.

Wiltshire Council leader Jane Scott said: "Making our meetings more accessible to people is very important to us and we are delighted to be able to announce our new webcasting broadcasts during local democracy week, as we think it is an important new channel to help us reach people in a new way."

As part of Local Democracy Week the council is also engaging future voters by putting together a resource pack to help children understand how their local councillors make financial decisions.

Children will learn, through discussion and role play, how best to use scarce financial resources as they debate the merits of the different projects and vote to decide which should be funded and which should not.

Teachers are also encouraged to have fun being a heckling member of the public who asks difficult questions.

Schools are being encouraged to visit the council to see democracy in action, or let the council know if they would like someone from the council to visit them. As well as this information packs have been sent to all primary schools in Wiltshire.
What's it all about?

Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #30 on: October 20, 2014, 01:54:36 PM »
"Schools are being encouraged to visit the council to see democracy in action, or let the council know if they would like someone from the council to visit them. As well as this information packs have been sent to all primary schools in Wiltshire"

Surely not to Swindon Council Meetings!!  Blimey they'd have to mind their P's & Q's and I don't mean the children.

Are Wiltshire council meetings any better?

There is something un-healthy about this idea, I can't quite put my figure on it yet.  I'm going out have a ride around in the  fresh air and come back to put into words what I'm trying to say.  It may have something to-doing with 'democracy in action'.   :coolsmiley:
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #31 on: October 20, 2014, 02:49:04 PM »
That was a quick one outdoors, got soaked.

What I was trying to say, is: If you are going to teach someone to do or about something, you have to have a really good understanding of your subject and be able to do it yourself.

I think a few 'in class lessons' on the theory would not go amiss, before they went anywhere near a council chamber, or offices.  Start a the beginning. 

"Children will learn, through discussion and role play, how best to use scarce financial resources as they debate the merits of the different projects and vote to decide which should be funded and which should not."


So the children will only be taught to deal with scarce resources and not the other ways of adding to those resources?   Or the reasons they are so scarce?

Seems to be they will be taught via government (and maybe a council) that doesn't want 'activists', but those who will mildly accept what's happening without question.

"a resource pack to help children understand how their local councillors make financial decisions."



Will this also contain the cost to human dignity on any subject?   If they had said 'make decisions' it might be acceptable - to add in the 'financial' shows were their mind set is at.

"Teachers are also encouraged to have fun being a heckling member of the public who asks difficult questions!



No, no, I can just imagine the meeting where they had, and discussed, the idea.  Those children will never do question again.  They need a psychologist to look at this plan.

"Schools are being encouraged to visit the council to see democracy in action, or let the council know if they would like someone from the council to visit them"


Firstly it won't be democracy in action, or at least not the full story, and unless they explain the non appearance of  so many citizen voters at elections and I bet that person to visit the school will be most carefully hand picked!               Democracy starts way, way before any councillor gets to a meeting.

The only good idea there is the televising of the meetings. So long as the meetings are understandable, the showing of them could be scuppered by jargon and council speak. i.e. everyone concerned has got to want to do it and make it work.




Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #32 on: November 02, 2014, 08:08:58 PM »
It is a great pity that no meetings are being recorded presently, there is some heavy stuff being discussed, like children's centres closures and Labour are as about as effective as they are nationally.  They lash out but don't actually land any punches.  A great pity as the administration does what it likes unchallenged!

Do you still have the recordings I made, but have not yet published Geoff?

They still ask me if I am recording so it must have struck some sort of chord! At a recent Council Meeting the Mayor even asked permission for me to do so, which was bizarre as I had neither asked or had the equipment!

I am considering standing again for Council next year and if I do and am elected I will champion the cause for ALL meetings to be recorded and made available to the public via the Internet.
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Offline bobwright

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #33 on: November 02, 2014, 09:11:36 PM »
Muggins - Julie and I have started delivering visits for schools to the council. I have also provided visits for new college and scouts/guides. We do this cross party and with the Mayor.

Richard - The scrutiny on the Oasis transfer was recorded by Points West. We have had others recording but not by yourself recently.

Not sure what you are looking for however landing punches and forcing the changing of  minds when your opposition has a voting advantage is difficult to achieve. I would have thought when a Cabinet Member confesses that one of Swindon's main assets (Oasis) has been given away as part of a leisure transfer that is significant. The admission that you are prepared to carry on with the transfer in spite of the partner creating and disposing of a £800,000 debt for £1 would under normal circumstances have led to a break in the relationship. Instead we have witnessed a lack of contrition even though local businesses have been seriously affected by the administration chosen partners non-payments. It just shows that exposure alone is not enough when you lack sound judgement and you have a complicit majority willing to back your error strewn behaviour.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #34 on: November 03, 2014, 10:41:12 AM »
Richard - The scrutiny on the Oasis transfer was recorded by Points West. We have had others recording but not by yourself recently.

Not sure what you are looking for however landing punches and forcing the changing of  minds when your opposition has a voting advantage is difficult to achieve. I would have thought when a Cabinet Member confesses that one of Swindon's main assets (Oasis) has been given away as part of a leisure transfer that is significant. The admission that you are prepared to carry on with the transfer in spite of the partner creating and disposing of a £800,000 debt for £1 would under normal circumstances have led to a break in the relationship. Instead we have witnessed a lack of contrition even though local businesses have been seriously affected by the administration chosen partners non-payments. It just shows that exposure alone is not enough when you lack sound judgement and you have a complicit majority willing to back your error strewn behaviour.

How do we access the Points West Recording Bob, no use if we can't!

As regards the Oasis Very Few people in Swindon actually know about it especially in Shaw.  It is up to everyone to tell them and I cannot achieve that on my own however hard I try.

You are Chairman of the Scrutiny Committee or should that be changed To the Ratification Committee?

You heard Jim Grant with your own ears going on about Garry's £15m Car Park built with Borrowed Money, but he didn't actually ask why The Administration can find Money for Car Parks and Not for Children's Centres?  Why not?  This is the reason why Labour will not take power in the foreseeable future, isn't it?  Added to which he departed immediately afterwards and left we unpaid members of the public to sit out the rest of the meeting.

The Scrutiny Committee for all it eloquent words just ratifies the Administration's decisions because it is dominated in numbers by the ruling group, what a waste of time and effort and Council Tax Payers Money!!
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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #35 on: November 03, 2014, 10:50:47 AM »
Richard Quote: "The Scrutiny Committee for all it eloquent words just ratifies the Administration's decisions because it is dominated in numbers by the ruling group, what a waste of time and effort and Council Tax Payers Money!!"

Unfortunately Richard it's the blessed Council Tax Payers that vote or fail to vote that elect in or enable the election of the Administration.

Rightly or wrongly so long as all have their say, present democracy has been served - common sense hasn't but democracy has. 

I would ask are the opposition taking advantage of the opportunity to have their say?







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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #36 on: November 03, 2014, 05:31:28 PM »
I would ask are the opposition taking advantage of the opportunity to have their say?

By and large the answer must be no, unfortunately!

It is a tragedy that Labour are so ineffective and disorganised
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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #37 on: November 03, 2014, 06:32:25 PM »
I take it that by the 'opportunity' they are speaking up, but lack eloquence and wit to make the arrow meet it's mark?

I also take it that the administration take the opportunity to have good laugh up their sleeves  at them? Knowing they are already powerless anyway?
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Tobes

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #38 on: November 03, 2014, 11:14:09 PM »
Quote
I am considering standing again for Council next year and if I do and am elected I will champion the cause for ALL meetings to be recorded and made available to the public via the Internet.

I hope you do stand again Richard. 200+ votes from a standing start last time as an independent was a much better result than you gave yourself credit for. I promise you, if you stand you really will focus the minds of your opponents, as even if you don't win, you could certainly 'lose' the wards for the second placed runner - and that's actually a good thing for local politics, as you'll be campaigning on the issues, not relying on the colour of your rosette.

That said, I'm sure you'll have learned a lot from you last experience, and I'd fully expect you to do better this time round. Keep fighting.
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Offline Phil Chitty

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Re: The Recording of Meetings to be discussed at Cabinet March 20th
« Reply #39 on: November 04, 2014, 04:58:38 PM »
Indeed, stand you must Richard. This time it'll be against the disgraced former Mayor, should be a pretty easy target.