And so whilst The Chronic was over in “fashionable Hackney” [ARF] dining upon guacamole and listening to crap poetry, something of a political DING DONG apparently took place at the CBC Tollgate Planning meeting on Thursday evening.
Front row seats etc – which although The Chronic sadly couldn’t take up due to our bohemian life swap for the week, the WEIRD LibLab Cabinet did decide to have a three line whip – quite literally – with all members eyeballing the apolitical (oh yes…) CBC Planning Committee members from the front row.
All apart from LibDem Cllr Annie Feltham, who apparently is of the view that Planning is no place for a Cabinet member.
Word reaches The Chronic from “fashionable Hackney” that the fall out from the Committee’s decision not to go with the Officer recommendation of refusal is going to not only split the WEIRD LibLab Cabinet, but also parties internally.
And here was us thinking that Planning is apolitical and most certainly isn’t whipped.
It’s all about the good of the town, the borough, the Little People, isn’t it?
Let’s deal with the non-attendees first.
It has been well documented how Tory Cllr Jackie Maclean & HighWoods Indie Cllr Laura Sykes were told by the Monitoring Officer that they couldn’t take up their positions at Planning ‘cos they had a conflict of interest.
You say conflict of interest, we say a GRINNING photo opp waiting to happen.
There is a *ahem* suggestion that Cllr’s Maclean and Sykes didn’t have a Tollgate conflict of interest after all.
Which all meant that their positions at Planning could be taken up by substitute Cllr’s who *possibly* might have been more sympathetic to the Officer recommendations.
But that’s just a suggestion.
And we have already forgotten who suggested it to us.
Now let’s look at nitty gritty.
The motion to go against the recommendations was seconded by the very thoughtful LibDem Cllr Jessica Scott-Boutell. A wise head on young shoulders etc. She doesn’t make these key decisions without any considerable thought for the evidence in front of her.
If only such a cool approach could have been observed by some of the more mature CBC Cllr’s that reacted to this decision on the night.
The Chronic has been told by a couple of sources that Cllr Scott-Boutell found herself on the wrong end of some ‘frank discussions’ with a couple of Cllr’s from two different parties currently propping up the Cabinet with no Mandate.
This led to Planning being two down for the remainder of the agenda as the more mature Cllr’s threw their Tollgate toys out of the pram and stormed out of the Moot Hall.
Ta, for coming, etc.
Expect the Standards Board to be hearing a little more about this behaviour once the Officers are activated once again in the New Year.
Meanwhile it was left to Planning Chair LibDem Cllr Jon Manning to cast the deciding vote that led to the decision to not go with the Officer recommendation of refusal.
Cllr Manning is a big political bruiser – who has actually slimmed down considerably of late.
But he is capable of looking after himself when the attack dogs of other parties come sniffing around his patch.
He was told to resign on the evening by another Cllr.
There’s more chance of Jumbo becoming a multi-story car park to be honest.
And what about dear old Uncle Bill Frame, the cuddly LibDem Cabinet member for Castle ward?
The crashing THUD of his Planning papers being ‘dropped’ on the floor could be heard all the way back in “fashionable Hackney.”
Plus it was also interesting to hear that ex-CBC Council Leader Anne Turrell decided to turn up and work the room. We wonder if she drove to the Moot Hall, or was possibly a back seat driver?
And so whoever said that Planning ISN’T political?
Certainly not us.
It all leaves Tollgate in a right old bloody mess to be honest.
The apolitical CBC Officers will have to decide if the actions of the Planning Committee can now be carried out without any legal threat or fall out.
Expect plenty of fall out though when the Standards Committee next meets.
All of this poxy political cock thrusting is of course being played out under the backdrop of the ‘all out’ CBC local elections next May.
As soon as the Christmas decorations have been taken down from the Town Hall, the bloody political door knocking will start.
We already know that the WEIRD LibLab Cabinet is far from united. Cosy Cabinet ‘allowances’ are up for grabs next May.
It’s almost enough to make you want to move out towards “fashionable Hackney.”