And so seven days after the electorate went to the polls, the worst kept secret in Sunny Colch political circles was announced this morning:
CBC will be governed once again by the WEIRD LibLabIndie coalition, with LibDem Cllr Lyn Barton as the surprise new Leader.
It appears that personal political careers are more of a priority than voter preference and change.
Yeah, yeah – we get the maths.
We also personally have very little enthusiasm for the proposed Tory ‘Commissioning Council.’
But democracy is pretty much left bleeding at the bottom of the Town Hall stairs when the LibDems with 20 seats can carry on regardless, despite the Conservatives gaining four from the LibDems to give them 27 Cllr’s.
‘Facilitating’ all of this of course are the careerist Comrades of the Colchester Labour party, and the four (FOUR) Highwoods & Stanway Indies, a political party that has a mandate of just 5,000 votes.
Twice the Indies were offered a deal with the Tories. Twice they turned instead to support a party that lost all momentum at both the General and Local elections in Colchester.
Don’t go expecting a Highwoods Mr or Madam Mayor in Sunny Colch anytime soon.
As for the careerist Comrades?
We read continuously during the local election campaign how the Comrades of the Colchester Labour party believed that the town needed change, both on a local and national level.
And now a Cabinet salary is up for grabs and the LibDems aren’t that bad after all.
The Colchester Conservatives have every right to feel slightly peeved.
They arrived at the Friday afternoon count, not exactly cock-a-hoop, but certainly confident that a change at the Town Hall could be on the cards.
We even managed to gatecrash the Leisure World celebrations.
— Colchester Chronicle (@ColchChronic) May 8, 2015
The 5,000+ plus majority of Conservative Will Quince the night before was probably an indicator as to how the electorate might have acted on the local front.
And then as soon as the counts started to be declared at some speed by Chief Exec Adrian Pritchard, it became clear that those hopes were well founded.
Four Conservative seats were swiped from under the noses of the LibDems. This wasn’t quite enough to form a majority administration.
It did give the Tories the largest number of seats though – 27 compared to the 20 of the Love Me I’m a Liberal lot.
The momentum was in Team Tory. This meant that any future administration for the next year should be given the chance to form first around the Conservatives.
Enter the Kingmakers of the Highwoods and Stanway Indies.
With four seats needed by the Tories, the Indies (ex-LibDems) held all the cards – quite literally with their four seats.
5,000 votes between four Cllr’s doesn’t make a mandate. But the Highwoods Indie lot seemed to think that it did.
The choice was between going with the momentum that the electorate had endorsed, or propping up the WEIRD LibLab careerists once again.
Policy of course played a part. The sticking point for the Indies was the suggestion that the Conservatives pretty much wanted to privatise the Council.
But that would have been more or less impossible to achieve for an administration that only had a year to run ahead of the all out elections next May.
And the so instead the ex-LibDems turned down TWO offers from the Conservatives, and went with the WEIRD LibLab coalition instead.
At least it means that the careerists won’t have to go looking for a proper job.
This has been MESSY.
Compare the past week to the incredibly graceful and dignified way in which Sir Bob of Sunny Colch walked away on Thursday evening at Charter Hall.
He knew when the game was up; he had time for anyone who wanted to have a chat, and said some nice words about Will Quince.
The good luck messages were returned by the new MP for the town.
But back at the Town Hall and the second rate politicians have been playing Division Two politics.
Fall out will soon follow.
Mayoral ambitions have just been blown.
Full Council is going to become a tit-for-tat slanging match for the next twelve months. For all the civic talk of ‘for the good of Colchester,’ we can’t see beyond finger pointing from both sides.
The all out local elections in twelve months time can’t come soon enough.
It will be interesting to see how an already flagging WEIRD LibLabIndie coalition can add new ideas in the twelve months that it has to run its course.
Have Your Say at Cabinet was just TOO EASY for the past six months. Those rants by the likes of Andy Hamilton almost penned themselves, such was the stale stench that was coming from Cabinet.
Cllr Barton’s bodge job of the bus station that isn’t really a bus station led to her losing her Cabinet seat.
And now she is back as the bloody Leader of CBC.
We are left with the exact same uninspiring administration trying energise CBC at a time when the Tories in government and at County Hall are looking to squeeze localgov further still.
You get the politicians you deserves.
Or perhaps not, as is the case in Colchester.