Friday, 22 May 2015

Blyth Town Council ..... Full Council Meeting

It was full Council last night and the appointments to committees , election of Mayor etc.

It is usual practice for one years Deputy Mayor to become the next year's Mayor, but last year's Deputy , Cllr Adrian Cartie is having some health problems, so Cllr Margaret Parker was elected as Mayor.

Now Councillor Parker is  long standing councillor, and has been part of the "Civic Party" before, so not unexpected. But her husband, Cllr Bob Parker becomes the Mayor's escort, which may lead to some embarrassment as he is banned from sitting on any Council committee due to previous behaviour.

Anyway, congratulations to them both. I'd like to pass on my best wishes for a speedy recovery to Adrian Cartie, a truly nice bloke.

The appointments to committees was confirmed, and as has become practice, to speed things up the two political groups had informed each other and the officers of their nominations. Nothing strange there, except that I have become vice chair of the Finance Committee.

It is not unusual elsewhere to have opposition members take chairs and deputies positions, but it is unheard of here.

I was separately told, and I'll not say by whom, that "It was to show the non-partisan nature of the Council" (the official line , and rehearsed, as I could never expect the people who told me to use phrases such as non partisan) "We needed an experienced councillor to take on the role, and no Labour member has your experience" ( flattering, but not really true) and "No-one else wanted it" ( probably has a ring of truth)

Anyway, I'll do my best for the Finance Committee and check that the budget is spent in the best interests of Blyth.

It might even be fun come the year end when we look to prepare the 2016-17 budget. ( Insert irony smiley thing here ...)

Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bank Holiday Bin Collections for Blyth

With Monday being a Bank Holiday , bin collections are put back a day.

So, if your normal collection day is Monday, it will be Tuesday next week .... I'm sure you get the picture

If in doubt, contact Northumberland County Council

Wednesday, 13 May 2015

The General Election in Scotland ....

I was going to write a long article about the results in Scotland, but I think that only a short post is really needed.

The Scottish electorate voted all SNP and elected all but 3 of Scots MPs . But my very simple view is what did they get ...?


The SNP are not in coalition with Labour, as was predicted, and now their demands can be ignored, or at least watered down by the Conservative government. Despite the much larger number than the Lib Dems in the UK Parliament, ( and the other parties as well of course) they will have the same  frustrations caused by their minority status in the UK

As an aside, isn't it funny how everyone on Social Media seems to be advocating proportional representation, of various types.

The Lib Dems have been promoting that for more years than I can remember. I almost feel smug as I think .... "Told you so"

Monday, 11 May 2015

The aftermath ....

I made a conscious decision not to write about the general election campaign during the official campaign period.

Actually with everyone knowing the date of the election  it seemed as though the campaign ( by all parties ) began in about November or December,

Like many people I did not expect us, the Liberal Democrats, to do as badly as we did. I expected us to halve our number of seats, and I thought that it was being pessimistic at that.

So the Parliamentary Party can now concentrate on pushing our own values, supporting those issues that e believe in and opposing those that we don't.

Now that the Conservatives have a mandate, given to them by the people, I expect some unpopular developments. In fact, there was even some talk at the weekend of resurrecting "the snoopers charter" which we, in coalition, opposed, but can now reappear.

The coalition may have had it's detractors, but the Conservatives had to moderate some of their policies while it existed, and many of our policies were enacted. And at least we will never ( or rarely ) hear that horrible phrase "the ConDems" again.

But despite the abysmal results in the Parliamentary election, the Liberal Democrats are still here. Indeed our party membership has gone up by 10% since Thursday as over 5000 people have joined the party. I don't know, but suspect that many of these are former members re-join as we are now cleaned of "the taint" of the coalition.

So we will rebuild, albeit from a low point , and will continue to promote Liberal values in all parts of society.

Finally, I think Nick Clegg did the right thing in accepting the blame for the performance. A genuinely nice bloke who despite the "Deputy Prime Mininster" title, has had his hands tied for the last 5 years.

In 2010 I placed a bet on who would be his replacement ( luckily an open-ended bet with no time restrictions) . I won't say who I bet to be his successor, but at least I still have a possible winner!   (insert smiley thing here)

(Oh, I'll post about the results in Scotland in a later post )

Sunday, 10 May 2015

"Haabet " due at Blyth

The Tall Ship "Haabet" which is to be renovated in Blyth will be arriving on 30th May

The arrival is to be marked with a family day, it would be great to see you there .....

Saturday, 9 May 2015

Blyth Battery Goes to War

Blyth Town Council , May 2015 meetings

Blyth Town Council's calendar for May is as follows:-

Tuesday 12th , Finance Committee

Thursday 21st , Annual Council 

Tuesday 26th , Events Committee

Thursday 28th, Town Meeting 

All meetings are at Arms Evertyne House and start at 6:30 pm

The meeting of the Planning and Development Committee scheduled for Thursday 14th has been cancelled