What can you do when an elected mayor upsets his (party) councillors?

Not much, it transpires.

Gordon Oliver, elected Mayor of Torbay and highly enthusiastic member of our Local Enterprise Partnership, has been upsetting most if not all of his councillors, who are finding it very difficult to do anything about it.

He got the job in 2011 and was re-elected in 2015. However, within the year, a public referendum had been organised on whether Torbay should have a Mayor was organised, and it was decided that, from 2019, the council would revert back to a Leader and Cabinet arrangement. Nothing could be done earlier than that.

Should the Local Enterprise Partnership ever be correctly constituted, as things currently stand, we would be forced to participate in an election for a Mayor of Somerset and Devon who would have a great deal of direct control over the two counties, deciding most things himself or herself and needing only votes from hand-picked colleagues to force through his or her decisions.

This is a situation similar to that where we were forced to accept a Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner, when only 22.8% of registered voters bothered to turn out and we ended up with Alison Hernandez, a former Torbay councillor. Who now wants to employ her mate as her Deputy. And who can, if she goes against the wishes of our Police and Crime Panel, do so – and again there is nothing they or we can do about it until new elections in 2020.

And where is her mate from? Torbay! And who is a Torbay councillor. Who has been chair of planning there for several years.

Quite a little power block now built up from there. Must be something in the water.