Leader Ben Ingham is on record as saying of his choice of Tory Stuart Hughes as Chairman of the council:
“The Tories are not in our Cabinet whatsoever. They hold the Chair because we felt we needed an experienced Chair to make sure Full Council is run properly. This is a civic appointment only.”
Apparently, there wasn’t a suitable independent (of either faction), including those who have already served for 4+ years in previous councils, that he felt would be able to take on the role of representing the council and chairing some of its meetings. So, it seems like a Catch 22 – you can’t get get the role if you don’t have experience – and you can’t get experience because it needs someone who already has experience, not even watching someone in the role for years and learning from it, so it seems the role might remain Tory forever!
But it ISN’T a purely ceremonial role – the Chairman of the Council also chairs the Standards Committee – the one that taps the wrists of naughty councillors.
Surely that isn’t a “ceremonial role”?
Or maybe now it is!
” … Boris Johnson, Sajid Javid (ousted from contest), and Jeremy Hunt – are moonlighting as landlords, and it shows.
We’ve now had two televised debates and housing has barely had a look in. While the outgoing Prime Minister has said she considers “solving the housing crisis is the biggest domestic policy challenge of our generation”, the candidates to replace her seem unphased by it. …
There has been no mention of social housing, nobody has outlined their plan for Generation Rent, one in three of whom will be renting from cradle to grave, and our growing population of pensioner renters has received zero mentions. Listening to them, you would be forgiven for thinking house prices and rents weren’t rising faster than wages. …
Housing inequality certainly played a part in Brexit and, as Conservative think tank Onward highlighted in 2018, by the time of the next election, there will be 253 constituencies where more than 20 per cent of voters are renters. That’s an increase from just 18 at the 2001 election. And they are not voting Tory.
Coming up with a comprehensive strategy for the housing crisis and set of policies to back it up would take time but, at the very least, it would be good to see the social catastrophe that is unaffordable housing acknowledged by the men who want to be the next Prime Minister. …”
At least three of the Tory leadership contenders are moonlighting as landlords, and it shows
Letters, today’s Midweek Herald – hear, hear says Owl!
“Britain has seen a big jump in the working poor since the 1990s, with almost three out of five people below the official poverty line living in a household where at least one person is working.
The Institute for Fiscal Studies found that a drop in the number of workless households, better-off pensioners and higher rents had resulted in 8 million in poverty from working households.
The thinktank said that between 1994 and 2017 the share of poverty accounted for by working households had jumped from 37% to 58%.
The in-work poor were living in relative poverty because they were living on less than 60% of median income. The IFS said the less well-off had been financially hit by more expensive housing and by weak earnings growth, but were still better off than they would have been had they been unemployed. …”
Really, this council gets more and more strange! After the massive Independent surge in May when people voted to put old-guard Tories out power, we get a Tory chairman who promotes himself and his party in the local press going dotty about Boris! So, everywhere he goes as the Chairman on behalf of the Leader he will be extolling the virtues of a different party!
“… Cllr Hughes said: “I am certainly backing him and told him so. I think he’s the only candidate who will pull and unite the Conservative Party.
“I’d just finished chairing my first meeting of PATROL Parking and Traffic Regulations Outside London. On the way out of the rear entrance of Church House near Westminster Abbey met Boris and his team just getting into his Range Rover. [Rear entrance … Boris having been criticised for avoiding the public and journalists]
“I was delighted he agreed to photo, and yes, feel privileged to have been one of the few to have had opportunity to speak to him prior to the BBC candidates’ hustings tonight.”
Oh dear, Swire backed the wrong horse so he will have to try to suck up to Boris now if he wants a top job.
But we can hope that Swire is similarly knocked out of East Devon’s ballot so that Claire Wright can win.
“Berlin’s left-wing government has approved a plan to freeze rents in the German capital for the next five years.
Rents have risen sharply in the city and there have been rallies urging the authorities to keep housing affordable.
The plan is expected to become law in January. It could apply to 1.4 million properties, but not to social housing – regulated separately – or new builds.
The average monthly rent for a furnished Berlin flat is about €1,100 (£983; $1,232). …”