Tag: democracy

I am guilty as charged –Tories continue complaint against me telling you what is happening

I now have a formal complaint against me from Shropshire Council’s in house solicitor. This is because I wanted to tell people that the price of an extra £1.3m for Ludlow Assembly Rooms would be a repayment of some or all the money, and a curtailing of the community asset transfer (CAT) from 125 years to three years. I have already told the council solicitor I will take any punishment going. If need be, I will resign as a councillor and stand for re-election. That would be nonsense and a waste of public money. But if it needs to be done, it needs to be done. I am utterly committed to Ludlow. I live and breathe this town as do my fellow councillors and most people reading this blog. But Shropshire Council doesn’t want you to know what is happening.

The Tories on Shropshire Council made a formal complaint against me because I told you that they were not telling you all that is happening with Ludlow Assembly Rooms. A press release was issued saying that £1.3m additional funding had been made available to complete the refurbishment. That was excellent news. But the sting in the tail was that the proposed transfer of LAR to Ludlow was to be cut from 125 years to three years. And by the way, Shropshire Council saw the £1.3m as a loan. I knew full well I would get a code of conduct complaint for telling you that. It duly arrived. Other councillors were astounded that it had been filed by as many as three cabinet members. Leader Peter Nutting. His deputy Steve Charmley. And the lead for culture and waste Lezley Picton. I have now responded and I am not giving any ground whatsoever. I acted in the public interest. We are not China or Russia.

Tory councillors demand retribution after I expose their options for Ludlow Assembly Rooms

It was always going to happen. The Tories that dominate Shropshire Council can’t take a word of criticism. Now, Councillors Steven Charmley, Peter Nutting and Lezley Picton have lodged a formal complaint against me for having “published information which had been obtained from a report to Cabinet that was exempt from publication”. This shows just how far Shropshire Council fails to understand that an open and challenging democracy is fundamental to way our country works. But in Shropshire, criticise the leadership and you are threatened with retraining, suspension or worse. The council leadership want to silence me. They want me to delete articles from my blog. No way. Never. Never. We are an open and challenging democracy. That is never easy. It is more often difficult. But it is the way our country works.

It was a slip in wording but it killed off a public question on climate change because Shropshire won’t confront the subject

Shropshire Council refused a public question on climate change at Thursday’s meeting. Why? The questioner had made a minor mistake. He had asked for the answer “before” not “at” the meeting in his email, though not in the question itself. The question was ruled out of order minutes before the meeting, even though the question had been submitted two weeks before. That stinks of political interference in the democratic rights of electors in Shropshire. When Councillor Julian Dean, the only Green Party member, raised the matter as a point of order, the Speaker ruled the point of order out of order. That stinks of political interference. Nothing shows more clearly Shropshire Council’s progressive disengagement from electors and its disinterest in climate change than this. This article is based on information from Green Party Councillor Julian Dean.

An oddball 2019 for Shropshire Council (1) – call for vegan adverts to be banned from Shropshire buses threatens freedom of speech

This is the first of two articles about the way that Shropshire Council has begun the New Year in a remarkably oddball way. Steve Charmley, deputy leader of the council has got a bee in his bonnet about vegan adverts on Arriva buses. He wants them banned because Shropshire is “a great County built on Agriculture!” I would have hoped we are first and foremost a great county based on human rights and freedom of speech. Councillor Charmley is calling for a meeting with Arriva buses, a company the council subsidises to the tune of £2 million a year. That meeting would be wrong just at the point the council is planning to cut £405,000 from its £2.5 million bus budget.

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