Richard: Give Whelan the same consideration? What consideration???

You gotta love this article in the Camberley Eye today ( and the statement from Richard Brooks, that Karen Whelan should get the same “fair treatment” that she has given others. And what “fair treatment” would that be??? What total hypocrisy Mr. Brooks…

How about Dawn Jeffers? When she didn’t agree with Whelan, she got run out of town, and was paid off by Whelan with Public money, of course with the requisite Whelan gagging order. She was so fairly treated she had a nervous breakdown and is still in care today over it…

How about Sarah Ruddock? She actually tried to blow the whistle on Whelan, was blackballed, and fired. She too was paid off by Whelan with Public money, of course with the requisite Whelan gagging order. She was treated so fairly that she attempted to commit suicide over it. Luckily she has moved to the West Country and is in recovery.

How about Sarah Greene? She supported Sarah Ruddock until she was threatened and bullied by Whelan, and then she too was paid off by Whelan with public money, of course with the requisite Whelan gagging order. She luckily only had a a short care episode…

Here is the letter that was posted to me a few days ago, why is Whelan not suspended pending investigation? And why has Brooks not called the Surrey Police in??? You the public need to put a stop to this insanity. While you are at it, demand that Brooks step down as well…

Broken Borough Councils-Part 2

In the last post, we looked at the two things you as voters could do that would fundamentally change the system: 1-establish term limits, and 2-change the party leadership stranglehold

Part 2 goes to the heart of the democratic process. So, shortly after the end of World War II, the prescriptions for how Councils were to work was developed and put into law in the UK. So, there are essentially 3 levels of government in the UK: Borough Councils, County Councils, and MPs.  Each has distinctly different functions by mandate from the Central Government. Borough Councils have the following statutory functions:

  1. Taking out the rubbish
  2. Running all parts of planning
  3. Running Licensing (all forms)
  4. Providing housing
  5. Running elections
  6. Assessing and collecting Council Taxes and Business Rates

Second thing wrong: doing what they aren’t chartered to do

And what do Borough Councils do other than this? Loads… As time has evolved, they have simply decided to do things like Parks & Recreation, Meals on Wheels, Citizens Advice, and literally dozens of other things…  All worthy causes, but not as part of the government.  So, statutorily, 6 things, but in reality they do more than 90 things. Why? Because they could, and seized on the idea of doing it without anyone really knowing what it meant to do this. And, stupidly, the Central Government said, hey we’d better help pay for these things… The basic premise was that we as the government know what you need and we will provide it for you. And most amazingly, we the voters went along with that… Why? Because we just that was how it worked, but guess what, that isn’t how it has to work.

There are dozens of organisations, both community and otherwise who would take over all 90 of these things and run them ten times better at a fraction of the cost. And not only that, do we need a third rate theatre that costs a £500K/year loss?

So what do you need to do?

Demand from your Councillor to know exactly why they do anything other than what is statutorily required… They are relying on you to be too stupid and too lazy to do it…

Broken Borough Councils-Part 1

As my elected career ended in May, and I have returned fully to the private sector, I thought it might be worthwhile to put a few thoughts down about what is seriously broken and doesn’t work in local government, and what you the voter can do about it… Surrey Heath is not materially different from all the other 400+ Councils in the country… Their illnesses are the same, and their completely dysfunctional approaches are now accepted by the public as the “new normal” in how local politics should run. The current perversion of local politics is really only come to pass in the last 20 years.

The Council bureaucrats are banking on the fact that you the voter are two things: too lazy to do anything about what they are doing, and too stupid to understand it. The foundation of their actions is that you will not take the time to find out what they are actually doing wrong, and then if you do, that you will not exercise your rights to do anything about it. In short they are assuming, and usually quite rightly that you are too “English” to dirty your hands with the truth…

First thing wrong: the structure of the representational process.

Councilors at both borough and county level and MPs are present to represent the actions of the Councils and Government to you the people, not the other way around. They don’t represent you, they represent the government to you.

What can and must you do?

1-set term limits to a maximum of 2 terms, take the career prospects off the table and get real representation. That way Councillors are not driven by their own self-interest, as they are today

2-change the political party group process to enable change. Once a totally useless leader gets in it takes a vote of 75% to get them out of that position. You the voter could get this changed, but most will neither read the Council’s constitution to see how to do it or take the actions to do it. It is how Surrey Heath got saddled with the most useless leader in history, Moira Gibson.

There will be another four or five sets of things you can so on this, so keep posted as we go through the other things that are broken and that you the voter can fix…

The blame game, a tale of 2 Councils…

So what can we tell about the House of Fraser closure announcements?

Well, let’s look at how Epsom is handling it:

So, they are going to fight to keep the store open, they are going to do whatever it takes to keep the store open and save the jobs of their employees and residents.. And the response from Surrey Heath?

Blame the store and House of Fraser for not spending more money on upgrading it, as if that would have made any difference. The House of Fraser Managment has accurately assessed the willingness of the Council to assist them in their problem… The bizarre thing is that the “joint statement” makers, Whelan and Gibson are clueless as to why blaming the House of Fraser might not work. Further, they are applying this logic to the whole of the development in Camberley.

Epsom: fight to make it work. SurreyHeath: blame the management. What is wrong with this picture???

Public statement from the Others Group at Surrey Heath Borough Council – House of Fraser in Camberley

We have noted with sadness that House of Fraser announced yesterday their intention to close their Camberley store.  This will clearly impact on many hard working local employees and residents that will now lose their jobs should these proposals be agreed. For our part, we will be happy to meet with any impacted constituent and help refer them to suitable employment and benefit advice services should they need this.

It is no secret that we as opposition Cllrs representing different political opinions have been concerned for some time about the reliance of traditional retail in Camberley Town Centre development plans.  It is particularly alarming that House of Fraser have chosen to propose closing the Camberley store whilst keeping many other stores open in other towns and cities across the UK including at Guildford and Reading.  This suggests a lack of confidence by House of Fraser in the redevelopment of Camberley despite the Council having repeated talks with them about future plans. As a result, it raises serious questions about the future town centre plans of Surrey Heath Borough Council.

Whilst we all want to see a positive vision and future for Camberley, it is important that we and all elected Cllrs understand the impact of this closure to our residents and local taxpayers. We remain committed to ensuring that our local residents receive answers and assurances as to the future of Camberley.”

House of Fraser is dead
The puff of smoke above the House of Fraser in Camberley, the end is here