That was the claim of Councillor Michael Walsh, who launched into a remarkable tirade at both the Mayor and the services of the Town Clerk at a meeting last Monday evening at the Guild Hall.
Early on in the meeting Cllr Walsh asked the mayor what was the statutory regulations stated about councillors who failed to attend meetings, stating that he thought it was 6 months? It was confirmed that this was in fact correct. He then asked why fellow Councillor Graham Snell had not been kicked off the Council as by his reckoning he had not attended a meeting for since last October. He was however, assured by the town Clerk that Cllr Snell had, in fact, attended once in the past 6 months and that there was no reason for him to resign even though Cllr Snell to tender his resignation should councillors had agreed to it.
The evenings meeting got off to a shaky start when one of the early agenda points was questions from the public, which the Mayor as Chairman said was at his discretion, despite the fact that five members of the public wished to talk on the subject of the new MUGA (Multi Use Games Area) and where it should be positioned, only to state that he was not prepared to take any questions from the public at the meeting, much to the disbelief of the public gallery.
There were reports from councillors including Cllr. Carole Water who summed up her final report as outgoing County member for Romney Marsh.
After the statements on end of year reports had been agreed the subject came up about the appointment of a new finance administrator, only for Cllr Walsh to once again state that why had a personal friend of his not even have an acknowledgment of his application and worse still despite relevant experience, he did not even get a letter stating that his application had not been successful, despite the fact that he had lots of relevant experience and carried out a similar job for another administration.
Next on the agenda, was the election of the deputy Mayor, with long serving council stalwart Vicki Dawson stating that after a lot of thought and consideration, she had decided to stand down as deputy mayor due to the lack of communication between herself and Mayor Bob Jones and proposing Ted Last as deputy, insisting it would it would be an injection of fresh blood into the position.
At this point Cllr. Walsh leapt to his feet and agreed launching a relentless list of accusations that the Clerk and Mayor shut other people out of all the decisions. And then said in his opinion, Cllr Dawson was right, there should be new blood on the council. And asked that every Cllr. there stood down, with immediate effect forcing a Bi Election, allowing the people of Lydd to be able to have a democratic election.
The Mayor asked the question was there anyone who would second the motion? At which point Cllr. Ian Dimmock stood up and said that as he was the only democratically elected member of the council, he would gladly second Cllr. Walsh’s motion.
Cllr Lenny Laws pointed out that there was only about 2 years until the next election for both district and town Cllrs, and this was not an unreasonable amount of time to wait. Cllr. Carole Waters did agree with this but added that it was important for Deputy Mayors to be in constant communication with both the Clerk and Mayor and sit in on all meetings, so that either in an emergency or due to unforeseen circumstances the Deputy Mayor would be aware of any meetings and could stand in.
Cllr. Walsh then said that the Council was totally dysfunctional and reminded some of the members of the public that if they wanted to see a change within the council all they had to do was attend a meeting with ten people and put a motion of no confidence in the current council to force an election.
New County Councillor Tony Hills pointed out that it is not too long to wait until the next election and that in his opinion, it was not a good use of the towns money, he also pointed out that another ‘local’ council did not have a full complement of councillors and none of them had actually stood for election.
Over the next few weeks The Looker, will be attending meetings at many of our town, parish and district councils to report on how cllrs are representing us, the people who rely on them to get a good deal on our behalf.