Wednesday, 24 March 2010


I see that Thanet Life has announced the news that Strife predicted almost 3 weeks ago, (click here) that at tonight's Conservative Group Meeting, Cllr Bayford would be elected as the new TDC Conservative Leader with Cllr John Kirby being the only other candidate. My congratulations to Cllr Bayford and to the Conservative Cllrs in Thanet, for at last taking a decision that they should have made last year, to replace their Leader.

As predicted, it would seem that Cllr Bayford will 'understudy' Cllr Ezekiel until May when at Full Council, Cllr Bayford will be installed as the Leader of TDC. I hope that Laura Sandys will now have a better wicket to bat on in South Thanet but I am concerned that this move for change will be too late to benefit her.

I trust that Cllr Bayford will now look closely at how he is to regain the confidence of much of the electorate in Thanet before the 2011 Council Elections. I am sure he is already  considering the structure of his Cabinet and that perhaps a new Deputy (Cllr Bruce comes to mind here) and standing down Cllr S Tomlinson and Wiltshire might be a good idea. Would a leaner Cabinet make sense?

He should also consider the make-up of that vital Committtee, Planning. If Cllr Bill Hayton cannot return to the Chair here due to KCC committments, then perhaps a sensible choice would be Cllr Mike Jarvis. who has already demonstrated he is a man of principle and integrity. Cllr Bayford needs to consider if the present Chair (Cllr Gregory), Cllr M Tomlinson and Cllr Simon Day have long passed their sell by dates on Planning and that the retoration of public confidence in TDC's Planning Committtee should be a priority.

Cllr Bayford might also like to get to grips with the perception, rightly or wrongly, that for too long TDC's senior officers would appear to have been the 'tail wagging the elected dog'. Their professional advice and expertise is vital but the bottom line should be that they are all servants of the elected members of TDC acting on behalf of their electorate.

Cllr Bayford has a tough job ahead of him and I wish him the very best. Openess, genuine consultation, frank admission of mistakes when things go wrong (as they always will) and a reaching out to The Labour Group and Independents  to utilize their talents and expertise to make TDC more effective,  are positive steps that are now needed. The petty silliness that has characterised TDC for too long needs to end.

He might also like to get the message across that TDC's share of the Council Tax we pay is roughly only 14% of the total. Bertie's charge by TDC actually works out at only  £3.59 per week and for that I think I get pretty good value for money with my bins emptied; parks and beaches looked after and the service from TDC's Gateway.

Of course there are issues of concern, but a Council is ultimately judged by its public's perception of it. Look after the electorate more; get all of your Cllrs more active in their wards.  When Thanet residents feel that their interests, needs and concerns are a greater priority to its Council than developers and 'grandiose' wasteful schemes, then Cllr Bayford, you will have them on your side. Good luck!


Peter Piper said...

Oh well change at the top but will we get more of the same or a new broom. With regard to Planning I couldnt agree more that there needs to be change but isn't 'Their Ken' chair of planning not Mick Tomlinson?
As for the deputy, how can anyone think that a builder should sit on planning.
I agree that a much leaner cabinet really would make sense and the two you suggest really should go.

Bertie Biggles said...

Peter Piper,thanks. I have edited posting to clarify Chair re 'Our Ken'!

Anonymous said...

you are a lot more optimist than most of us, i agree with Peter Piper, more of the same, Bob Bayford also has a reputation for being a very lazy ward councillor.Same Cronies as Ezekiel so i doubt whether you will see much change in the formation of committees and he won't want to promote anyone who could do a good job and then threaten his position in a few years, although i doubt whether the tories will hold the majority next time around.
Laura's chances arent that great when seen with the tarnished councillors and their mates out canvassing with her!

Anonymous said...

Bill Hayton might be too busy with county matters to take on the Chair of Planning but Bob Bayford is also a county councillor so surely he'd be too busy to take on the Leader's job as well as run a business?

Ann said...

I think you'll find Bertie, that the Tories did not "replace" thier Leader, but Ezekiel had already made it clear for some months to those in the know, not just the last three weeks, that he would not be standing again this year as the Leader. Any suggestion of a move by the group to replace him should be discouraged.

Anonymous said...

Whether he was pushed or jumped is irrelevent Ann. There is no reason to discourage such talk as you would like. His record is there for all to see and as far as Margate is concerned its not a happy picture. Margate is at the lowest level its ever been. The high street is a shambles and Dreamland, I say no more, in his time as Leader. I doubt whether the cash being put in by central government and KCC will save it. His reprimands by the Public Standards office will be there for all to see for ever.

Anonymous said...

Yacht in the South of France, chilled glass of chablis, warmth and sunshine, attractive blonde wife in a bikini, do you really think Cllr Ezekiel will give a left wotsit about what you think any more Bertie? if indeed he ever did.

Good luck to the man, he did me no harm and Thanet a lot of good.

Ken Gregory said...

Bertie, I have copied this to others, but my blog site has been 'hacked' please ignore my 'post's' until I let you know( and i will) ken

Bertie Biggles said...

Good luck to him too, 17:10. Like many former 'Ezekielites' you fail to grasp that issues are not personal but about the perception by the public of its local Conservative Party. I look forward to rejoining NTCA in May.

Thanks for that news Cllr Gregory. The posting of 17:14 as Ken Gregory (with your Blogger tag)struck me as 'odd' and I have not put it up for obvious reasons. I hope you resolve the problems at Village Voice soon. I have let your fellow Conservative Cllr and Committee Member, Cllr Mike Jarvis, know that your site has been 'hacked' and that the comment made was not yours. Good luck with the problem.

Anonymous said...

TDC Press Release today:

Following a meeting of the Conservative Group last night (Wednesday 24 March), Cllr Bob Bayford has been elected Leader of the Conservative Group. It is expected that he will be proposed formally as Leader of the Council at the 13 May Annual Council meeting. In the meantime, Cllr Sandy Ezekiel will continue to be the Leader of the Council and Chairman of the Cabinet.

Cllr Ezekiel said: “I told the Conservative Group at our Annual General Meeting last year that I would not be taking the group through the local elections in May 2011, and therefore did not put my name forward for selection as Leader. I am delighted that Cllr Bayford will be leading the group next year and into the local elections in 2011.”

Cllr Bayford has been a district councillor for Kingsgate ward since 1991; he is also a county councillor for Broadstairs and Sir Moses Montefiore division, and a town councillor for Broadstairs and St Peter’s.

Richard Samuel, Chief Executive, said: “I would like to record my thanks to Cllr Ezekiel for his contribution to the council and to Thanet over the last seven years as Leader. He has led the council through a period of many changes, and I would like to offer him my best wishes for the future.”

“Officers have worked closely with Cllr Bayford as Deputy Leader from 2003-06 and also as the current Chairman of Overview and Scrutiny, where he has overseen considerable reform and improvement to that Committee’s work in recent years.”

Anonymous said...

I have just read Cllr Bayford works in Kingsgate, Broadstairs, St Peters and Montefiore, that is funny I have lived in Montefiore for quite some years and have never seen him at any of our meetings, never received support for all the problems we have fought, in fact I don't even know what he looks like.
Just hope he does a better job as leader of the council than he was at looking after our area.
Are we in for another episode of incompetent people with our lives in their hands, heaven help us.

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

21:40, I have taken down your posting at the request of a person it referred to and I am happy to do so.