Mr Perrin’s blog; “A Word in Your Ear”.
THERE was an itchy-scratchy feel to the Full Council meeting held on Wednesday 25th May, the first meeting since the Local election on 5th May 2016. The apparent back-scratching commenced with the unopposed election of Cllr Kathy Kent [Labour] as Mayor closely followed by the election of Cllr Tunde Ojetola [Conservative] as Deputy Mayor, again unopposed. Cllr John Kent [Labour] then announced that he was stepping down as Leader of the Council and the process of electing a new Leader was proceeded with, the contestants being Cllr Robert Gledhill [Conservative] and Cllr Graham Snell [UKIP].
Cllr Gledhill was elected thus the Conservatives were now the administration, albeit with no overall control.
The back scratching continued with the appointment of Chair and Vice-Chair of various Committees, the lions share going mainly to Conservative and Labour leaving UKIP Councillors feeling cheated of their right to a greater share of the spoils as they were tied with the Conservatives 17-17. I am not convinced that “you scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” is the way to run a Council. The next two years could be interesting and possibly quite lively.
There were two standing ovations on the night, one for the out-going Mayor, Sue Gray, who having lost her seat in May will no longer be the Councillors “favourite nanny”, the other being for Cllr John Kent who stepped aside after six years as Leader of the Council. I have no reason to doubt he went voluntarily but, judging by the churlish behaviour of some of the younger members of UKIP who remained seated during the standing ovation, it would not have been very long before they would have been baying for his head. Wise decision John; your Leadership will be greatly missed.
A word in the ears of those UKIP young-bloods, such as Jack Duffin, it is not a weakness to be magnanimous in victory and to acknowledge the talents and achievements of the vanquished.
Finally to Tunde Ojetola, congratulations on your election as Deputy Mayor. May your path to become Mayor next year be smoother and without rancour. I cannot think of a more worthy candidate.