Pibworth – Resignations, What Fun!

They had a chance to bring in new blood and they picked those two Herberts


Well, what a month for resignations it’s been – nationally and locally. First there was the well-publicised end of the Prime Minister, and then two councillors from Olney Town Council.

Slightly different in their methods of departure it has to be said: Johnson was left clinging onto the trappings of power for as long as he could in order to have a few parties at Chequers, whereas our councillors just put in letters quietly and off they popped without so much as a sniff of the wine and nibbles in the Olney Centre.

The interesting bit is how they are all replaced. The PM will be exchanged after a vote by Conservative MPs and it’s now all boiled down to two candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss.

The Conservatives had a chance to bring in new blood and real change, and they picked those two Herberts. Honestly, replacing Johnson with either of them is like pooing in your pants and going home and changing your shirt.

I put £20 on Sunak last year well before all the dirt came out about him and ‘er indoors, as it was clear to all but the dimmest that Johnson was going to get the bum’s rush well before his term of office, so I might be on for a win, who knows?

I suppose it’s better than having to listen to Liz Truss blathering on about pork markets and cheese imports but hey ho, that’s how politics works in a free world. We choose the government via elections and they choose their leaders.

And before Labour gloat too much, they would do well to remember they chose Jeremy Corbyn not all that long ago.

At least we don’t have presidential elections which would be far worse. Johnson is now being urged to stand down as an MP when a new leader is chosen as that will mean any enquiry and allegations into ‘Partygate’ will be dropped. Interestingly, the same applies for local councillors. Any contentious matters are also abandoned, should there be any.

As far as OTC is concerned, I’m still interested in one matter that has been lingering about like a fart in a telephone box since my days on it. I voted – In a secret meeting – for a goodish amount of money to be spent on legal fees but by all accounts, far more money has been spent on this since I left, but I can still see no explanation why, to those who pay the cash for such things. And that’s us the public.

I was told, in no uncertain terms by a ward councillor – when I was on the council – that there would be disciplinary action if I said anything about it. OK, council disciplinary action boils down to a panel of self-important numpties telling you that ‘you’re very naughty’, so I wasn’t exactly trembling in my boots. But now I’m off it, there’s even less they can do, if indeed there is anything less than having a finger waved at you. A look of disappointment and a shake of the head possibly?

It’s not terribly difficult, but it would look a whole lot better if the information was given freely. In time we shall see the council accounts and can make up our own minds if money has been wasted.  I’m not having a go at our current council, as I think on the whole, they’re doing a fine job in Olney and no doubt they have had the ‘Don’t Be Naughty’ finger waved at them.

I’d never put my friends on OTC in a difficult position by asking them for any of this information. It’s the whole system of financial secrecy that needs to be addressed.

Replacing our own councillors seems a bit trickier. When I resigned, they just co-opted someone else on, and that was that, but now two more have left, apparently 10 people have written in to demand an election. So, I can only assume that those 10 people will stand.

It costs about £7,000 to run a local election outside of the expected ones, so why would anyone write in to demand that much OTC expenditure – unless they had eyes on it themselves? We shall see when the candidates put themselves forward.

I was thinking of standing again. That might get the usual establishment suspects frothing at the mouth which, while enjoyable, isn’t a good enough reason to stand. So I won’t.

I try not to cover old ground, but I must bring up the parking problem in Olney. The immediate issue could be solved by charging for the East Street Car Park, opening up the football pitch, as has been successfully done when there is no football, and opening up the East Street Community Centre field for more parking. The income would help pay for a company to do the clearing up and security to man it, as it’s not up to our OTC councillors to have to do this. Everyone needs to work together on it.

By the time you read this OTC will have had a special meeting to discuss the Rec situation and parking with the public, so hats off to OTC for really trying to address this.

OTC does have a sensible amount in reserves for emergencies, and if some of it were spent on the current problems, I’m sure that the public would be behind it.

After all, it’s better spent on that than pointless elections and legal fees.

Cheers for now…

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