Thursday, 8 December 2011

CLIVE HART WILL GO ON

In the words of Celine Dion: Near, far, wherever you are, Clive Hart will go on... to become leader of Thanet District Council. This surprise result in tonight's council meeting comes after the Thanet Labour Group put forward a motion to remove Tory Bob Bayford as Leader of the Council last week following John Worrow's resignation from the Conservative Party. 

The result pretty much rested on which way the four Independent candidates would vote and, as it happened, Labour's Clive Hart got 28 votes (garnering votes from Independents Jack Cohen and ex-Tory John Worrow) and Bob Bayford got 26 (with one vote from Independent Bob Grove), with one absention (from Tom King), so that officially means our council has a new leader. It's a result I certainly wasn't expecting.

It's worth remembering that the timing of Clive Hart's arrival as new Leader of Thanet District Council is quite unprecedented. I believe that Thanet is now one of the only councils in Kent to be controlled – albeit in part (I assume in coalition with the Independents) – by a local Labour Party, breaking from the true blue hegemony we've become accustomed to since last year's local election results. I'll be the first to say that it would've been nicer if Labour had took control in a fashion that wasn't comparable to a coup d'etat (i.e. being decided definitively at the ballot box instead). Nonetheless, it'll be interesting to see how much of a difference this makes to local politics.

As you can tell, I was present at the council meeting to witness proceedings. It felt a bit like I was sitting on bloggers row, as I had the chance to watch the decision unfold sitting alongside 'Ville Views blogger James Maskell and Tony Flaig of Big News Margate. I didn't know what Michael Child looks like, but I assume he was there, as I notice he has already posted a blog entry about Clive Hart being declared the new leader. Tony's piped up about it too. I guess I'm just a bit slower on the uptake than they are.

Anyway, I'm sure there will be plenty more to discuss about this momentous decision in due course. Until then, as far as district councils go, it looks like Kent is no longer a true blue county. How does everybody feel about that?

NOTE: The other Labour-controlled council in Kent is, of course, Gravesham Council, which makes Thanet Council the second local authority to go red.

10 comments:

  1. I hope Hart is more impressive as a leader than he's been in opposition (too much point-scoring & not enough ideas in my opinion) but I wish the man luck... & at least he has far nicer hair than Bayford & Ezekiel!

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  2. Nice to finally meet you in person, Luke. You've got your head screwed on better than most of those in the Chamber.

    When it came to the issues themselves, its no suprise I side with the Conservatives but theres good reason for it. Labour looks to be taking a decidedly Socialist tone. So much for Cllr Ian Driver quitting...he might be the most comfortable!

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  3. Would the last person left in Thanet please turn off the lights as they leave, Thank You......

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  4. Rumour has it that its a toupé, Peter.

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  5. It's real, I've seen him comb it! Hope my hair looks that good at his age.

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  6. Incidentally Luke, I believe that Gravesham too became a Labour council following the local elections.

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  7. "Thanet is now one of the only councils in Kent to be controlled – albeit in part (I assume in coalition with the Independents) – by a local Labour Party."

    The other one being Gravesham, naturally.

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  8. I didn't see you, Luke. Sorry! I think I was the only female blogger there! It was a rather refreshing event. Although i think I was still heady from sending 2 hours in the library reading through more of TDC's released email correspondence files on the Arlington Application!

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  9. Revolution clearly can't be far away! Occupy Thanet!

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  10. As far as revolutions go, I imagine it'd be a bit of damp squib, Anon. This is Thanet, after all.

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