Saturday, 26 May 2007

First Meetings with Officers

Officers from Democratic Services have been unfailingly helpful and scrupulously politically neutral.

An early evening meeting for new councillors with members of the Council's Management Team was interesting. The emphasis was squarely on what a good and successful Council Darlington had, which was largely due to the close working relationship between officers and councillors, and the inclusive nature of the Council, where councillors from all parties generally worked closely together for the greater good.

Well, after leading the campaign to scupper one of their pet schemes: the takeover of the town centre by Tesco, and having seen their anti-democratic approach to the Pedestrian Heart, Hurworth School and some planning issues; and in view of the mess they are making of public transport and education in the town, I am not in the mood to be socialised into their cosy world. The Labour Council has had no effective opposition from the Conservatives for many years. I have watched the gentleman's club which operated under the former Leader of the Conservative Group.

It is important, for the good of the town, that the Labour Council is strongly opposed: not in terms of personalities, which is Labour's approach in Council when they are questioned, but on the basis of a careful analysis of their policies and a detailed and effective scrutiny of their actions.

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