Wednesday, March 07, 2012

What standards? Councillor Wells " I am expected to follow a code of behaviour different than that expected of members of the public"

Really? Well maybe councillors are somehow different, anyhow I personally think we should all try and maintain a bit of dignity in our lives.

I've got to say I'm a bit jaded and looking around the local blogosphere, it seems that there is a general malaise, perhaps it's the realisation that none of us, are as smart or important, as we would like to think that we are,  local councillors seem particularly tetchy.

The last Thanet council meeting I attended, seemed to have a hightened sense of frustration, tinged with some bitterness, in fact I thought some of the Labour bods, were sort of hissing when Independent Cllr Ian Driver came into focus, a bit like a pantomime audience, all a bit ironic really given that, as far as I recall, not one of the Labour group had either the fortitude or wisdom to question  selecting Driver as a candidate over his predecessor Cllr. Mark Nottingham.

Anyway you have to conceed that Cllr Ian Driver has been a more effective representative than most on the council, clearly a real independent, whom I noted sat a little distance away, from his more right wing independent colleagues.

I see one or two spats about etiquette just recently, Cllr Driver questioned Cllr Mike Harrison's language toward women and I note Cllr Cohen in dispute over correct forms of address with Cllr Bruce, and Cllr Moores assisting matters by refering to it on his blog.

Of course myself not being on the same playing field as these old boys, I recently took exception to what I consider to be abusive lanaguage and factually incorrect comments from Cllr Chris Wells, who suggested that I was, depending on the dictionary used, a contemptible, fawning person; a servile flatterer or toady by or alternatively from the urban dictionary (a slight variant the version used by Wells a single word, this is broken into two) A slimy grovelling and devious person who will do anything to get ahead in their life and career including.....

Not mixing in the same circles, as our local councillors I reluctantly decided to refer Cllr Wells to Kent County Council's standards committee for their consideration since as far as I'm concerned he neither accepted that his language was offensive and his  apology seemed  ....., well judge for yourself, Cllr Wells words

"I have already placed a qualified apology on your blog, which you appear to have not accepted.

I will not waste anybody's time or taxpayers money on this matter, and acknowledge as an elected member I am expected to follow a code of behaviour different than that expected of members of the public.

If in this case you believe I have breached that code, then I am content to make formal apology for use of a word you find offensive in describing your behaviour, placing this as comment on your blog to ensure it reaches the same readership as the original comment."

If Chris Wells is typical of our local representatives and Kent Conservatives, why muck about? assuming any council has standards lets see what they are, hence  my reluctant referral to their standards committee.

I'm genuinely sorry that I've been placed in the situation, but since Cllr Wells choose to insult me in the first place, what choice did I have, and finally I'm sorry that councillors have become so dismissive of the electorate. Of course Wells could have acknowledged that his language was unpleasant and his suggestion that I was in some way subservient to one of his fellow county councillors,was also incorrect but he didn't.

Anyway I understand that the complaint is to be considered today, I'll let you know whether  KCC's standards people, think it acceptable for Chris Wells to insult me.

Finally Chris Wells claims to be expected to follow different codes of behaviour, well not by me or I suspect most people.

As a PS Chris Wells has on more than one occasion been a "guest blogger" on this web site so just where did he get the idea that I following a fawning servile party political path, when not insulting me I have some respect for Wells as someone who on balance does his bit for the community.


  1. Tony, I sugggest you let the media know of your complaint. I doubt that cllr Wells or KCC will.

  2. Seems like councillors view themselves as somehow immune and special.

    Are we really meant to believe that Mike Harrison would be comfortable if a stranger called his misses or daughter a b***

    And Wells shouldn't say sorry because he has to

  3. "I am expected to follow a code of behaviour different than that expected of members of the public"

    If not a member of the public which planet does he come from?

    1. Unfortunately there is a code of conduct JUST FOR cllr's. The Code of conduct is never enforced and has become an absolute farce. Just recently a friend of mine made complaints against the conduct of 2 cllr's both have been found not guilty of her complaint. Makes me wonder why my friend keeps trying to make things better in this awful place, she works her guts out to get justice and never gets any where. Thanet Council is the worst ever so are our cllr's apart from a few.

  4. Public servants are just that servants of the public.

    When councillors are operating in that capacity or as they like to say wearing their councillor's 'pointed hat' of course they are supposed to be respectful of their masters, after all who pays them if not the public they serve.

    If they do not want to be held accountable then they shouldn't have put themselves forward for all the benefits and privileges they receive as a result.

    It does seem silly that other paid public servants 'councillors' are allowed to judge a fellow public servants behaviour, surely that should be left up to members of the public who are not operating as public servants ?

    In my humble opinion they will do nothing , although he may be squeezed into a forced public apology.

  5. 10:39 I don't think the Isle of Thanet Gazette or Times are that keen to report anything I have to say, particularly since I pointed out the potential link to "adult advertising" and people trafficking.

    And the KM and KOS don't really do news in Thanet.

    That leaves the BBC whom never seem to objective when reporting Kent council for some reason.

    I thought I'd post a comment on Simon Moores Blog but we all know why he uses comment moderation, which might explain why he has fewer hits than Bignews Margate and why my comment has yet to appear!

  6. Sorry Tony.. I was in London earning a living. The last two days I was in Ireland! _ Your comment went up as soon as I was sensibly able to interrupt my attention away from the subject of Al Shebab and Somali terrorist groups!

  7. Is Al Shebab a name, a place or fast food in a wrap?

  8. We all have such complex lives Simon.

    Just though id balance things up.

  9. I attended a meeting of Ths Southern Lanlords Association where Cllr Wells gave a speech. I found his behaviour and the language he used to be offensive and insulting. The man is arrogant and overbearing.

  10. I think he's a lovely man!

    Mrs Wells

  11. He is a big cuddly bear of a man and he can castigate me any time he likes, especially if he talks dirty.