Saturday, 5 December 2009

YET ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF ODD BEHAVIOUR BY A COUNCIL OFFICER?


To add to the embarrassment of TDC's incorrect press-release issued on Friday, indicating that Wendy Allan had won Dane Valley Ward, I am sad to report what some might consider to be another odd case of the behaviour of a TDC Officer. I am loathe to name individual officer's in regard to their conduct but in this case it is unavoidable.
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Richard Samuel, in his capacity as Returning Officer, gave all Candidates strict  written instructions in advance,that due to the cramped space available in The Media Centre Margate, they would only be allowed to have themselves and 3 others as observers to watch the vote counting of The Dane Valley Ward election on Thursday and that documentation identifying who the 4 to be present from each political party would be, was to be presented in advance.
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On Thursday evening then, one might imagine the surprise of Wendy Allan, Bill Furness and Sandra Hart to discover that having complied with The Returning Officer's directive,  they found their combined numbers, outnumbered by 'hangers on' supporting Ingrid Spencer, The 'Ezekiel' Party candidate.
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It would seem that a complaint was made to the Returning Officer that if he had stated only 4 could attend per candidate, then he was duty bound to enforce that directive without bias or favour, and instruct Ingrid Spencer to 'trim' her numbers and invite the excess to leave. The Returning Officer failed to do so.
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I am flabbergasted that Richard Samuel failed to enforce his own instructions as Returning Officer in regard to the 'Party' of his Council Leader. A Returning Officer is duty bound to carry out his duties without bias or favour for very obvious reasons.
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Unlike, CGP( now CGI) ,who were happy to thank him and his 'colleagues' (Latchford, Burnett, Ezekiel) for not hitting the mini-bars in their hotel rooms on the Great TDC Expedition to China in 2007, I am amazed at the conduct of our highly paid Chief Executive on Thursday evening and I believe it is time for him to consider  the impression he might convey in such a situation. Whether he likes it or not, he is the 'servant' of Thanet District Council as a whole and as such needs perhaps to be reminded of his 'place'. Perhaps the Chair of TDC needs to have a little chat with him?
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The only humorous aspect of this debacle in The Media Centre, was the way the smug 'we have it in the bag'  expectant Spencer/Ezekiel Party hangers on responded when, to their horror, they discovered at first hand that not only had Sandra Hart won, but that 'Ezekiel's Chosen One' had been beaten by a Lib Dem. As jaws dropped, they might have heard the cheers from nearby pubs as 'excluded' supporters of Sandra Hart heard the news second-hand, from quick mobile phone calls.

22 comments:

Tony Beachcomber said...

I always thought that the witnessing of the counting of votes is a regulated thing as specified in the Representation of the Peoples act.

Bertie Biggles said...

Tony, that's what I thought and hence my concerns about the odd conduct of The Returning Officer.

Anonymous said...

Carrying on the theme of the local byelection. I have found that response comments on Dr Moores blog, when of an unfavourable nature(nothing rude)towards tthe local Conservative party, are never published. All is sweetness and light if the good doctor is to be believed. He`s letting his party down(as is TDC).

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bertie Biggles said...

19:55, you must remember that a 'blog'is a personal thing and whilst inviting comments, each 'author' retains editorial control. I will always try to acknowledge a comment I am not prepared to publish or show it edited with edited sections highlighted!
I must say that I have heard similar complaints about 'Our Ken' and 'Village Voice' but it's his blog and it's up to him what comments he allows.

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie,
I know by elections are different from other elections and 2011 elections are light years away in political terms.

I think if the result was repeated in a full election across Thanet in 2011 we would see a stronger labour group. Independants representing westgate , westbrook, and the villages. lib dems back on the council at Broadstairs or even Bill Furness at Birchington. The only Margate representives for the Conservatives would be Garlinge and Cliftonville East.

Even though it is a great result for Labour it is a wake up call for the local Conservatives, and I am sure they cannot carry on as they are at the moment if they want to regain control in 2011.

As I said earlier 2011 is a long way off and between now and then anything could happen.

Bertie Biggles said...

20:58, I am sorry I have had to review your comment.

Anonymous said...

Utterly appalling. Richard Samuel, ****************: another **** of the ****. He needs to go we can do better for that money.

05 December 2009 20:58
20:58,
Mr Samuel does work for the people of Thanet in his capacity as an employee of TDC, our democratically elected Council.He is just an employee. As the Chief Executive, he necessarily works closely with the current Leadership of TDC as the 'Leader' commands a majority in Council. Whether too closely, politically, is a matter for our Full Council to ponder on, should they wish to do so.

Anonymous said...

Your attempts to crank up a big issue out of a non-story only go to show what a twisted and demented political zealot you have become bertie. Is this your way forward for Thanet? Character assasination of every person you consider not to conform to your view of the perfect politician or officer? If so, get real, they don't exist. Your evident hatred od all things ezekiel and tdc mark you out as a sick man. See a doctor before its too late.

Bertie Biggles said...

I wondered if you would join in 22:26. I will ignore, yet again, your offensive manner and concentrate on the issue in question.
In his capacity as Returning Officer, Richard Samuel cannot set the requirements for candidates and their Parties to follow at a count and then not apply them in favour of one party. That is quite extraordinary and does raise the valid question of politicisation of officers. This is not a 'non-story'but a serious matter.

In this instance, I question his decision and judgement.

We should all be striving for right, truth, integrity and openess and yes, the perfect politician and officer. Whilst accepting human frailty, Thanet deserves more than mediocrity and dubious practise from dubious politicians or from errors of judgement from its professional officers.

DrM. said...

As you will know from your own experience Bertie, we have a regular number of mischief-making individuals leaving comments on weblogs who breach acceptable use policies. and so when 19:55 writes his comments further below I hope you will accept that while I'm happy to accept criticism I'm not prepared to accept or indeed print unsubstantiated allegations of corruption from an anonymous character.




"I have found that response comments on Dr Moores blog, when of an unfavourable nature(nothing rude)towards tthe local Conservative party, are never published"

Anonymous said...

Before your time Labour dispatched the last CE at TDC, and more recently have caused a director to leave because he couldn't do his job for all the time he was having to spend on meeting the demands of the Labour grouping. They have tried to hound the leader and deputy of the council out of office, as they have done for at least 2 other tory members I can think of in the past and more recently have used publicty on the margate mayors unresolved hearing for electoral gain. There is an axis of evil running through thanet politics alright, but it does not involve the conservatives.

Anonymous said...

Bertie,
The Ezekiel party man of the night is back i see!
Think the man of the night is definately the sick one!
The labour party canvasses report anti Conservative sentiments from the electorate on the door step and many times times not even from traditional labour supporters.
Doesnt that make "the man of the night" wonder whether his allegiance is mis-placed! Certainly it is not you that is sick Bertie just speaking up for decent tories !

Anonymous said...

Another officer who allied himself closely with the ruling elite has now gone to pastures new in Ashford!

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie,

This really is a common sense issue. Every election agent receives paperwork to appoint a quota of witness's to the counting of votes ( in compliance to the representation of the peoples act) passes are then issue,. The holders of the passes are liable for prosecution for any misconduct during the counting of votes, again the representation of the peoples act.
Years ago a police officer was always present at a count so this is a serious issue.

Surely common sense would tell anyone, that if one political group has more witness's than the other they have been issued with more passes or if they haven't they anyone above the official quota witnessing the counting of votes must be there under false pretence.
It is possible to hold a count with people in the same room without passes. Providing the area of the counting of votes is cordoned off and only official witness's can enter the arena

However, once the results have been agreed with the returning officer and the candidates agents the count is officialy over. Then any number of people can be present for the declaration.

There is nothing political about any of this.

Bertie Biggles said...

Dr M:
Absolutely right, Simon and 17:55 please note!

11.02:
I am afraid I do not share your perspective of difficulties the current leadership find themselves in. Self inflicted wounds rather than knives in the back?

Tony:
Thanks for further details about how a count should be conducted; as you intimate, not rocket science so it should be done correctly.

Anonymous said...

11.02 is the same sick person, glad you disagree with him on his stance, Bertie.
Although not a normal labour voter myself the members that i have had occasion to meet or watch in action appear to be upright serving members of the public willing to do "public service for the good of Thanet" and not their own ruling clique (obviously 11.02 is one of these because he constantly "back stabs" as you call it Bertie) An Ezekiel henchman i think you call it!
Not able to see the faults of his crowd! I think the director who was meeting the labour group as 11.02 refers to wasn't doing his job correctly and that is why the labour group held him to account - massively overpaid for M and S building, gave a political statement about a labour councillor to the standards board, not acceptable! in the same way it is not acceptable as an executive of the people (which the chief executive is !) to favour one party over another in an apolitical role such as returning officer! that's the jist 11.02!

Bertie Biggles said...

19:41, I was about to edit out the 'sick' at the start of your comment and then realised that the 'Anon' in question had been offensive to me, so let it stand!
I think that terms like sick, saddo, get a life etc can distract from the argument or point being made and I try to avoid them myself. Abusivness is perhaps the only resort for some when their argument fails them?

Anonymous said...

Arrrrr...Well said Bertie (we the Pirates) have been watching this from afar (out at sea).

The pirates asked to attend this walking the plank ceremony (by proxy)and permission was denied.

This type of thing puts us pirates off of voting. We are therefore putting in an ISP request to the Pirates electoral flag commission (aka Skull and Cross Bones association) indicating that it disadvantages piracy at the ballot box - and anyway who said Piracy is a democracy anyway - cause if we ain't got one, Thanet shouldn't have it anyway?

Arrrrr the quorum of four pirates

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Bertie Biggles said...

00:20, I regret that I have deleted your comment. I feel that personal comments about appearance and possible other employment could be construed as offensive and not relevant to the events of last Thursday night.

Anonymous said...

What a sad old world we all live in eh? all people can do on blogs is tear each other apart and for what reason - greed and self satisfaction in my book.

Get real! and get on with the jobs you were elected to do and that means working with each other.

Happy Christmas!

Anonymous said...

What! a happy Christmas in dodgy Thanet...never!!

One has to live/work outside of Thanet and earn a decent wage to have a merry Yuletide.

Look at the Corporate dodgy plan mate - like TDC its uninspiring.

Merry Christmas my a***.

Posted by The Pirates

(incorporated under the ISP treaty act of 1690) Under article 2 of the above Christmas was banned