Tuesday, March 06, 2007

It shouldn't be allowed...

Our Town Mayor, Mayor Bob, has announced recently that he is intending to stand for election as a City Councillor. Since then, there have been letters in the Morley Obtiser suggesting that this is unprecedented and that he should stand down & let the deputy Mayor fill in for him. The suggestion is that as the first Citizen of Morley, he is in a position to obtain the electoral equivalent of pecuniary advantage by being so well known etc.

Excuse me? Bob is a pillar of the community, a well respected retired head teacher, a Justice of the Peace and a man with integrity in his blood. He isn't some sleazy party politician and others shouldn't judge him on their own low standards.

Let us look it this slightly more objectively. Despite all the hype of Morley Mayorship, behind the fancy chains and colourful robes the role is simply the Chairman of Morley Parish Council, a minor authority that has chosen to use the words Town and Mayor as they sound a lot better and hark back to the glory years before 1974 when Morley was proud of what it had become. All Town Councillors finish their term of office on May 3rd, as do two of the Morley Councillors on Leeds City Council. The hustings haven't opened yet so it is by no means certain who will manage to fill their forms in correctly, let alone get elected.

It is now widely known by those interested in Morley local politics (probably about fifty people!) that I have decided not to stand for re-election on the Town Council. I won't comment on this too much whilst I am still a Member because the standards in public life rules are rather overbearing. This is the standard stitch-up when the parties play politics as vexatious litigants:

Allegation: A member failed to treat others with respect, brought his office or authority into disrepute, misused the authority’s resources, failed to declare personal interests, failed to withdraw from meetings when matters in which he had prejudicial interests were discussed and improperly sought to influence decisions on the matters.

Often followed by:

SBE Outcome: The Ethical Standards Officer found that no action needs to be taken.

Don't believe me? Surf the Standards Board for England!

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