Last week I approached the thought of attending the Thanet council cabinet meeting with some trepidation, and then thought stuff it,who are these people, as I considered the poor response to my complaint to the council over harassment at the last one I attended from overzealous staff inadequately trained to deal with the public, no surprising given the attitude of senior council officers to the public.
Anyway ignoring the preceding sour grapes, the meeting itself started with a lengthy, lecture from Cllr Clive Hart, about the use of mobile phones, unnecessary in my opinion, a request not to disrupt the meeting should suffice.
Good to see the Margate Mayor arrive as the meeting kicked off, sporting casual attire a t-shirt and jeans I think.
Shortly after the start, Cllr Iris Johnson had some rather convoluted, and tortuous argument about declaring an interest regarding one of the agenda items, despite as I gather, having exhausted the subject with one of the council officers (assuming I correctly picked up the exasperation in the officer's voice). In summary I'd guess some oblique point was being made about political bias, not a bad warm up to the shoddy (in my view) behavior of her colleagues to follow.
As those who follow these things will already know, the big ticket item for the evenings proceedings, was "that the council has no confidence in the Diversity Champion, Councillor Worrow " and yes Thanet labour does embrace such politically correct bonkers (in my opinion) jobs.
Cllr Fenner was able to talk the talk, on the old diversity subject, unlike others, so much about equality and good practice blah blah anyhoo Clive Hart made it abundantly clear this was a subject he didn't want debated, having made it clear that he didn't want any personal nastiness (an odd point given the way in which labour stalwart Mark Nottingham was treated not so long ago) which I assume he meant, mention of Cllr Worrow.
The question of Cllr Worrows suitability, was not allowed to go ahead, in any meaningful way, Cllr King who'd raised the issue in the first place was so exasperated that he had to leave, our wonderful leader throw his toys out of the pram, making a rather presumptuous comment about personal vendetta.
At the end of the day, I'm afraid the competence of Cllr Worrow to do his job is a matter for public debate, end of story, indeed I recall receiving a call from the man in question wishing to know what my take was on the nights discussion,unfortunately at the time I was building a railway, but when I later caught up with him driving home, hands free, the conversation had shifted to something else, I said I'd call back later but got the impression that it would have been pointless.
I have to say, Clive Harts attitude can be summed up as I think he did "it's my cabinet", so sad.
In other business we learnt from Iris Johnson that up to a couple of hundred grand was to be squandered on skate parks, this is the council that stuffed Margate's Big Event out of spite. Still even this wasn't enough for Cllr Fenner who was worried if I heard right that deprived children should not be excluded.
Cllr Green spoke on something, his delivery was suitably "laboured" and reminded me I had a long day.
Finally I feel that Cllr Worrow is out of his depth despite Cllr Fenner's explanations, I don't recall any achievements being mentioned concerning Thanets Diversity Champion, perhaps Cllr Worrow should have better publicity, maybe higher profile, perhaps he could be given some suitable superhero type uniform to wear when on duty. PS Worrow has some explaining to do about offensive posting on certain websites locally, as highlighted by Cllr Simon Moores who took the trouble to bring his tablet to the meeting, just as a graphic reminder of the partiality of and ignorance displayed by the leadership.