Sunday, 21 December 2008

Does Leeds really deserve this?

Pictured: Leeds Coat of Arms. Will the Morley Borough Independents be allowed to drag this through the mud as they have with Morley's?

Saturday's Yorkshire Evening Post revealed an interesting spat between the Morley Borough Independents (and, by extension, the ruling Tory-Lib Dem Administration on Leeds City Council that they support) and the council's Labour Group.

The roots of this go back to the full Leeds City Council meeting held on 9th April 2008 at which, after much debate, the Tory-Lib-MBIs managed to get their motion through council. The text of the motion was:

'This council believes all political groups on Leeds City Council should be treated equally and fairly. This council, therefore, agrees that the Lord Mayor of Leeds should be selected from the Morley Borough Independent Group for the municipal year 2009-10.'

The motion was approved by 51 councillors, 10 voted against (including myself), and 30 abstained. The Labour group had attempted to amend the motion in such a way as to introduce the appointment of an MBI Lord Mayor as part of the regular annual rotation of this position (currently this rotates between Lib Lab and Con) but they did not want this to commence during the 2009-2010 year, as this was going to be their next year to appoint a Mayor from their group.

Assuming the Labour group stick to their guns over this issue, the annual meeting of council in May 2009 will certainly be an interesting one. Convention has it that the Lord Mayor is elected unanimously by Council. When I failed to vote for Mohammed Iqbal to become Lord Mayor of Leeds at my first council meeting in 2006 (and made sure this was recorded in the minutes, which meant having to stand up and announce this to full council), it made headlines. Should the Labour group persist in nominating their candidate and insist on a full vote between the two candidates in council, it will certainly be an amusing spectacle to behold.

The decision of the ruling group on the council to make a Morley Borough Independent Lord Mayor of Leeds is a symptom of the underlying weakness of the Tories and Lib Dems in Leeds, who are reliant on this group to maintain a working majority. It is comical to suggest that the Morley Borough Independents are fit to hold the prestigious office of Lord Mayor of the city. This party has proven itself utterly unfit for public office and untrustworthy with taxpayers' resources on several occasions, and an MBI Lord Mayor of Leeds has the potential to make a laughing stock of our city.

I will of course oppose this ridiculous move, as I have from the first moment that it was put forward.

Wednesday, 3 December 2008

'Complete disgrace' Ed Balls Letter

The following letter was printed in the Morley Observer and Advertiser today:

I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiments expressed by Derek Bradley in his letter of last week (MP should explain, Morley Observer and Advertiser, 26th November 2008).

I found the tragic case of Baby P utterly heartbreaking and I have no doubt that this episode will have sickened all civilized human beings, especially those who have children themselves. That such horrors occur at all is bad enough. The fact that this particular one was completely avoidable and was allowed to happen thanks to the incompetence of the Labour Party commissars running Haringey council makes the matter even worse.

So what is ‘Children’s Minister’ Ed Balls, the man ideally placed to tackle this issue, doing to ensure that such tragic and avoidable cases like this never happen again? Electioneering in Morley, getting photographed next to whomever he possibly can in our town and having his extensive press releases featured in the local paper.

Derek Bradley is right to point out that this man is not our MP, and in fact has no connection to our town whatsoever, other than the fact that he will be trying to get elected in the new Morley and Outwood seat at the next general election.

I’m not sure which voters Balls is targeting, but it is obviously not those who care for the safety and well-being of our children.

What a complete disgrace.

Councillor Chris Beverley
Morley South, Leeds City Council.