July 22 2014 Latest news:
Story by: JOHN ELWORTHY
Monday, March 17, 2014
A Wisbech town councillor says that whilst Conservatives are in control they are entitled to appoint a Conservative mayor.
Steve Tierney, a Wisbech town councillor and chairman of Wisbech Conservatives, said he was responding to a UKIP county councillor “moaning about the fact Wisbech has had Conservative mayors for several years”.
Cllr Tierney said this was because “the people of Wisbech elected a majority of Conservative town councillors and Conservative town councillors pick Conservative mayors.
“There is nothing strange or unusual about it. The same happens pretty much everywhere else regardless of what party is in charge. The group with the majority picks the mayor because they have the electoral mandate to do so.
“I know that people who don’t support the Conservatives grump about this but that’s democracy. (They would not be grumping if they held the majority of course.)”
In a blog on his website today he added: “It’s a weak argument to say that it’s not ‘democratic.’ Of course it is democratic; it is a direct result of the votes placed by the people of the town when choosing their town councillors. That’s the very essence of democracy.”
Cllr Tierney said any councillor was free to propose a mayor which is voted on by the full council.
“Yes, if one party has a majority then their votes will tend to win,” he said. “That’s how political majorities work. That’s how they are supposed to work.
“It may be that at some miserable time in future the Conservatives will lose control of the town council. Come that day, the majority will be held by others and they will choose the mayor, as they should.
“But until that dystopian future they should probably stop whining, particularly if it’s pure hypocrisy.”
In a letter in last week’s Cambs Times and Wisbech Standard, county councillor Alan Lay who wrote that he noted “ with sadness that, as far back as I can remember (I moved here in 2003), all the mayors of Wisbech have been selected from the pool of Conservative members of the town council. Maybe there was no other choice - but now there is.
“With five Independent and one Lib Dem as well as Conservatives councillors available, a new mayor could be from either party.
“A mayor represents the people and as such should be seen as not politically aligned. Unfortunately I have not seen this within Wisbech Town Council.
“Democracy is supposed to be held as the pinnacle of Great Britain’s political strength, but time and time again it is shown that the people who shout loudest or those with most seats get their own way.”