Tuesday, May 22, 2007

And the second week's even longer!

For a brief spell on Monday it seemed that the Conservative leader might have seen the strength of the argument against having Labour in the administration, so we spent some time on Monday evening sorting out who we'd nominate for various posts with options and alternatives at the ready. Armed with reams of paper John and I arrived for the meeting on Tuesday. Within seconds of starting it was obviously "No Change" so the Tories walked out rapidly followed by Labour. The Tories then tried to persuade one of the Independent groups to join them and Labour, but that failed so they went ahead with just Labour and the three remaining groups spoke to the press to try to let the people of Stockton know what had happened.
Disappointingly, the regional paper which is normally quite good at reporting Stockton happenings, produced a very slanted report which painted the big parties as the good boys and us as the petulant little children going off in a sulk. Can't be helped - a free press is one of the signs of a democracy and I'm thankful we have it.
So here we are, approaching the Annual Meeting of the council tomorrow. There will be a cabinet made up of 4 Conservatives and 4 Labour members, with a conservative leader, while the Select Committees are all reduced in size. Chairing of the committees is shared between the groups. The conservative leader decided which group would chair each committee and e-mailed it out to us. The independent groups were pleased to be offered what they were though we were less happy. However, we'll make the most of opportunities to represent the views of the people of Eaglescliffe in whatever role we take.
John is to be Deputy Mayor, as the longest serving councillor who hasn't already either been mayor or turned down the chance. This means that he'll be representing the Borough at events when the Mayor can't attend for some reason and next year he'll be Mayor. Suzanne will be his Deputy Mayoress. We're delighted that his long service is being recognised in this way and know that he'll do a good job for Stockton. BUT he is still a ward councillor for Eaglescliffe so people still have 3 Liberal Democrat councillors working with them.

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