Councillor votes against his own motion

Keith Day appreciates the irony

Hedge End Town Councillor Keith Day was forced to vote against his own proposals after the motion he had forwarded was amended beyond recognition.

The sole opposition member on the Lib Dem council, Cllr Day had tabled a motion objecting to Eastleigh Borough Council’s decision to designate land at Woodhouse lane as a preferred location for development.

Given that there are nine borough councillors on the Town Council – including two cabinet members (one of whom is council leader) – it was never likely that the motion would be adopted but it was the manner in which it was brushed aside that proved surprising.

In his introduction Cllr Day said he was worried that with so many of Eastleigh Councillors on the  Town Council it might “become a subsidiary” of EBC.

He complained that Hedge Enders had not been consulted at all about Woodhouse Lane and pointed out that according to the survey only 26 residents in Hedge End were in favour of the Boorley Green option.

This casued my mind to wander.

Twenty six people in Hedge End had voted in favour of the Boorley Green option and there are 21 Lib Dem Borough and Town Councillors in Hedge End. Assuming that all the councillors would have taken part in the survey and supported the party line – then it would mean only five other people in Hedge End voted for the package – while of course 180 Hedge Enders opposed it.

The only people in Hedge End voting for the Boorley Green plan appear to have been councillors.

Cllr Day’s assertion – that the Norman Rodaway Sports field was at risk of development- caused Cllr House to interrupt crossly.

“What a load of twaddle…good grief!”

Keith Day paused, but the expected intervention from Chairman Jane Welsh was not forthcoming.

Cllr Day resumed but soon had to stop again, for after declaring ‘this is not nimby opposition’ Cllr Louise Bloom interrupted with an exaggerated coughing fit which resembled the dying bark of a harpooned manatee .

It was only after  Cllr Day had finished that Chairman Welsh decided to intercede – in order to admonish him for attributing ownership of the housing proposals to Keith House by referring to it as ‘His plan’.

‘It’s not his plan’ she said disapprovingly.

It would appear that the Leader of Eastleigh Borough Council is not to be held accountable for it’s planning policy.

Chairman Welsh then asked for any seconders only to be met with a stony silence.

For a few seconds it seemed as though Cllr Day would find himself friendless with the humiliation of seeing his motion dismissed through lack of a second.

“Can I ask a question?” enquired Cllr Sheila Bayne.

“No” replied Chairman Welsh “the motion must be seconded first”.

When Brian Norgate was the only opposition councillor sitting on Eastleigh Local Area Committee, Chairman Chris Thomas would routinely second him to facilitate debate.

This was clearly not going to happen here.

“Well, I’ll second it” Cllr Bayne said finally “because we won’t have a discussion otherwise”

“I’m very happy to have discussion on this” began Cllr House.

Which sounded about as convincing as:

“”The police are going to get to the bottom of this. I’m delighted they are involved”

“I have a ‘bit of an amendment’” Cllr House continued and then, with a straight face, he proceeded to distribute copies.

Keith House: "I have a bit of an amendment"

“This not an amendment, it’s a completely new motion!” spluttered Keith Day when he discovered that the only bit of his motion that Cllr House had retained in his ‘bit of an amendment’ were the words  ’Hedge End Town Council’.

Far from objecting to the Borough councils proposals, Cllr Day’s motion had now been amended to register approval!

Mr House then proceeded at length to take Cllr Day to task.

Cllr Day had been indulging in ‘Wind up stories’ according to Cllr House and he had been wrong to suggest that further sites were being lined up.

Council officers had considered a number of locations but ownership issues and other practicalities meant that few could be progressed. This was particularly true of Norman Rodaway Sports Field – Eastleigh Borough Council were not at liberty to develop this site as it was owned by Hedge End Town Council and therefore no development would go ahead on it.

Cllr Louise Bloom prefaced her comments by observing that Keith House had been perhaps too polite and restrained in answering Keith Days motion – something she proceeded to put to rights by describing it as:

“The biggest load of twaddle I have ever heard in my life”

(Cllr Bloom used to work in marketing)

She then went on to describe the motion as ‘scaremongering’ ‘nimbyism’ ‘misleading’ ‘ ‘total nonsense’ ’incredible’ and ‘irresponsible’ .

In between the attacks she insisted that this was only the start of a long consultative process and gave an assurance that:

“Hedge End Town Council is not going to sell Norman Rodaway”

Adding:

“There is going to be building in this area because people want building in this area and because people want houses to live in.”

Following this diatribe Cllr Bayne told the Chairman:

“Can I just say that this is getting personal. I’d rather things were kept on a neutral level.”

Dan Clarke "Don't throw a spanner in the works"

Both Cllr Derek Pretty and Cllr Dan Clarke also regretted that things had ‘got personal’ but Dan Clarke suggested perhaps Keith Day had brought it on himself by giving way to ‘Nimby Hysteria’ .

“We have a moral and legal obligation to provide housing for people who need it.”

“To try and throw a spanner in the works is to harm the interests of those you came into politics to represent.”

Councillor Bayne tried to make a contribution to the discussion but was prevented by the chair who told her “You have already spoken’.

It seems Cllr Bayne’s complaint to the chairman regarding personal attacks by members, had counted as her turn.

Finally, responding to the personal criticism levelled at him during the debate, Cllr Day was left wondering:

“Where do you draw the line between being a nimby and representing the interests of your electors?”

The amendment was duly put to the vote and passed with just Councillors Day and Bayne voting against.

Among those voting to accept the amendment was Botley ‘rebel‘ – Rupert Kyrle.

And so it came to pass, that Keith Day was forced to vote against his own motion. Sheila Bayne found herself in the ranks of Lib Dem dissenters and Hedge End Town Council publically pledged never to build on Norman Rodaway– not an outcome many might have predicted at the start of the meeting but not a bad trade off and a wonderful evening’s entertainment.

see also

Lib Dem let down

When is a Nimby not a Nimby?

White flag flies over Hedge End


  29 comments for “Councillor votes against his own motion

  1. September 26, 2011 at 8:55 am

    That’s another excellent and comprehensive report thanks chaps. Sorry I missed the meeting, but (as you know) I was slightly indisposed that evening…!

    I still can’t believe what I’m reading here. It wouldn’t look out of place in “The Vicar of Dibley”, who had some equally bizarre parish council meetings.

    I remain of the opinion that (apart from Keith Day)we’ve got the wrong people running Hedge End Town Council. We desperately need to get some new faces in there, ideally not Lib Dems who just tend to close ranks and vote through whatever Cllr House tells them to vote through. They are clearly not representing the best interests of Hedge End by voting to concrete over all of it…

    We also need a new law really, which will prevent people from serving in more than one capacity, on more than one Council. that’s so wrong, as it stifles debate and stifles democracy…

    I’ll have to start campaigning on the front I think…

  2. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    September 26, 2011 at 10:58 am

    Thank you Ray.
    I’m not sure why there was any need for seconders –the proposed motion was very nearly dismissed through lack of one.
    It was only small meeting (even smaller with 30% failing to show up) and there is only a one member opposition. If he cannot find any seconders because he is opposing council policy and the other members are too yellow to put their hand up in front of the local party leader then electors are being denied representation.
    In full council the mayor will use his discretion to provide a seconder in order to facilitate debate.
    The need for a seconder for the motion was a only a technicality as the clerk observed.
    Despite the insistence on protocol there appeared to be no time limit on the length of time certain members were permitted to speak – while others were prevented from speaking at all.
    I agree with you that there should be a limit to the amount of public offices an individual can hold in one locality.
    I agree with Keith Day that HETC is just a subsidiary of EBC. I felt the entire meeting was dominated by cabinet members House and Bloom. At least that’s what it seemed like from the Public seats. After the chair left early Cllr Bloom took over – to be frank I felt she may as well have had it from the start.
    My opinion, FWIW, is if members can’t be bothered to turn up because they don’t get paid, if debate is going to be stifled, if Borough and cabinet members are going to run the show in order to rubber stamp decisions made in Eastleigh then there is not much point in having a parish council – there is already a local area committee in place, it’s just another expense and layer of government we don’t need.

    • September 26, 2011 at 11:38 pm

      I agree with your point about the Parish (or Twon) Council being pointless the way things are, another layer that we don’t need.

      I’d go further actually, and just have one tier of local Government. I’ve said it lots of times actually, but I’d like to see a Unitary Authority in this neck of the woods.

    • September 28, 2011 at 4:03 pm

      If the TC follows its usual practice of promoting the current year’s vice chair, Cllr Bloom will be chair next year.

  3. September 26, 2011 at 1:30 pm

    OMG – as a resident of Hedge End, I am shocked that these morons (with the exception of Cllr Day and Baines) are representing me. I’ve not been bothered to follow local politics before but there is much about this meeting which is seriously disturbing. I work in Industry and if I were to interupt a colleague with ‘twaddle, remarks I would lose my job. Don’t they know how to conduct themselves? This Bloom woman should be defrocked or whatever Council demotion is. I have been told that she lives with the Leader so no sanctions will happen there.

    The whole thing stinks – a blind man could see its a set up job, My thanks to Cllr Day and Cllr Baines who DID represent my views and that of my neighbours. I suggest that those other Councillors get on the streets, door knocking to actually ask for opinions. It wont happen. Apparently my councillor does not even live in Hedge End so does he care about building developlments here – I don’t think so.

  4. Daniel Clarke
    September 26, 2011 at 1:40 pm

    Through knocking on doors and speaking to residents you will find that families want the council to meet its legal and moral duty to plan for local housing needs. There are thousands of families on the housing register and even more families who have their own home but who are anxious that the future needs of their children are met.

    All parts of the local plan will be open for consultation and its important that all residents get the chance to be heard – not just activists and candidates who are trying to hijack this issue for political purposes.

    With regard to Steve’s comments. Keith Day’s motion was seconded so it was not an issue. If it hadn’t have been I am sure that someone would have seconded it in order for it to be debated (along the lines of what Councillor Thomas used to do for Brian Norgate). However members can hardly be blamed for not having much enthusiasm for a motion we regarded as unbridled scaremongering codswallop. The motion was highly personalised against Keith House who dismissed it thoroughly. I do not believe that Keith Day got any less time to speak than Keith House who proposed the successful amendment.

    For what it’s worth I do not believe many of the comments Keith Day made were worthy of reply (such as his scandalous comments on Norman Rodaway which were plain scaremongering). I was sad that Keith Day seems to have misled people on this process in a misguided attempt to make political gain.

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      September 26, 2011 at 3:24 pm

      KH did speak for longer than KD – almost twice as long and he acknowledged this when he must have caught sight of the clerk whispering to chair as he apologised ‘for such a long explanation but this is important’

      (In mitigation, he was responding to questions.)

      To reiterate I’m not really sure why you need to have seconders – it’s hardly the House of Commons is it? And after all, the opposition need to be able to oppose.

      Re Norman Rodaway I don’t find the idea of councils building on playing fields so fantastical – flats were going to go up on Grantham Green till local nimby Robert Quane ‘threw a spanner in the works’!

      • Daniel Clarke
        September 27, 2011 at 1:20 pm

        I think for the benefit of public information it was useful for Keith H to clarify and explain certain points which Keith D appeared unaware of or at least to be ignoring.

        Whatever has or has not happened in other parts of the world, it was wrong of Keith D to spread untrue scaremongering about the Norman Rodaway and I believe he demeaned himself through it. As was pledged at the meeting, Hedge End Town Council will not allow development on Norman Rodaway, end of story.

        Scaremongering on blogs may be standard practice, but by dragging the debate into the gutter at a council meeting, Keith D behaved beneath himself.

  5. maureen
    September 26, 2011 at 3:06 pm

    Entetaining indeed! – better than last night’s telly but seriously, PC meetings are not meant to be ewntetaining, are they? To the lady who hasn’t taken much of an interest in local politics, you are one of many which is why this shower get voted in year after year on miserably small turnouts! If people feel strongly they should get out and vote – there are plenty of alternative candidates! To those who don’t vote – don’t complain!
    Getting back to the meeting – it sounds like the Chairperson could do with a refresher course on how to do the job or at least get some guidance from the Parish Clerk during the meeting.
    BTW – is Mr Tennent smirking in your photo above or just caught at the wrong moment?

    • Matthew Myatt
      September 26, 2011 at 11:30 pm

      BTW – is Mr Tennent smirking in your photo above or just caught at the wrong moment?

      Yes he is. I shot five frames in a row of the vote and in each frame Mr Tennent is smirking, the picture above shows the end of the smirk.

    • September 26, 2011 at 11:33 pm

      Part of the problem Maureen, is that a significant number of seats on the Town Council were unopposed at the last election. The Lib Dems just had to nominate a candidate and they were automatically returned without any need for a ballot. Not even the Conservatives stood against them.

      The message from that apathy of course is that Hedge Enders don’t care and are quite happy to let the Lib Dems do whatever they want to do. We’re seeing the consequence of that mistake at this Town Council meeting.

      We really must not let that happen again and must make sure that decent candidates are put up against the Lib Dems in every ward at every election.

  6. Graham Hunter
    September 26, 2011 at 5:46 pm

    Daniel Clarke is talking Gibberish and is tottaly out of touch. He should try knocking on doors in Botley & Boorley Green and admit to being a Lib Dem. He will be told in no uncertain terms the residents DONOT want this crazy proposal of 1400 Homes on Botley Park Golf Course OR 1000 homes in Woodhouse Lane!
    He will also get some very colourful language thrown at him… evne fro residents who in the PAST supported Lib Dems!

    What the residents want is SENSIBLE growth over the years, NOT CONCREATED OVER.. HOUSE STYLE!

    • September 26, 2011 at 7:35 pm

      I agree with G Hunter – try knocking on doors around Grange Park Daniel, I don’t live here, Clarke. We’ll tell you where you can stick your houses.

      • Daniel Clarke
        September 27, 2011 at 2:58 pm

        Hi J Wareham

        I don’t think there are many people who have knocked on more doors in Grange Park East than me in the last year and I have never experienced any personal hostility. The most popular issue which has been raised with me by GPE residents has been their concern over the County potentially selling land for oil exploration. However, I am more than happy to make myself available to residents for discussions on any local topic. Please get in touch with me, if you would like to talk to me about anything. As has been said about the local plan, all parts of it will be open for consultation and residents like yourself will be encouraged to contribute your views and opinions.

        Thanks

  7. rigel
    September 26, 2011 at 9:55 pm

    other votes are the developers !

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      September 26, 2011 at 11:26 pm

      Not sure if they live in Hedge End so it was probably the land owners 😀

  8. The Black Balaclava
    September 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm

    I find Dan Clarkes comments just unreal. Dan, I know you mean well and think you are in touch with what is going on but you really are way off target this time..

    As suggested, I do think you should catch the train up to the area you are elected to represent and chat to the people on the door step.

    People will NOT say “Do you know what worries me Dan, the council needs to meet its legal and moral duty to plan for local housing needs..”

    The reply will be much shorter and start with the letter F, and the second word would be off.!!

    I am stunned you can be so short sighted to think that local people in Hedge End are really concerned about the council’s moral duty??

    People in the Borough of Eastleigh know full well that the council do not have any morals, they have proved that time and time again with issues such as cutting down historic trees, approving their own planning applications to build on Public Green Spaces and flogging off public allotments.

    As for your crazy and ill-informed comment that local people will be included in a consultation with regard to any house building plans, do you want to tell readers what these consultation will allow local people to consult on.?? NO.!!

    OK, well I will tell readers, Keith House said at the HETC meeting that any plans the COUNCIL decide on will go out to public consultation, but local residents WILL NOT be able to object to any of the councils plans.!! Do you remember that bit of the meeting Dan.??

    You can tell you crossed the floor from the Labour Party. SPIN, SPIN, SPIN.!!

    • Daniel Clarke
      September 27, 2011 at 3:20 pm

      Well thank you Matt for acknowledging my good intentions, even if the rest of your post is less polite 🙂

      Actually, when it comes to Grange Park East, I have a very good relationship with residents and I am very easily accessible. As I have said in a previous post I do not think there can be many people who have knocked on more GPE doors than myself over the last year. It is just a fact that residents have said they want there to be enough housing for their children to live nearby when they grow up. This may seem odd for politically motivated bloggers, but actually for the majority of the public this is one of the main aspirations people have for their growing children – to be able to benefit from housing which they can afford in the community where they grew up.

      As a matter of fact, the biggest local issue I picked up from residents in GPE during the May election campaign was concern about the County possibly selling land for oil exploration.

  9. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    September 26, 2011 at 11:58 pm

    I have spoken to a lot of people and I have found the majority don’t care. We can see this is true by the size of the response to the survey.

    There are 6000+ names on the housing list so i would have thought that was 6000 responses straight off. There was only ONE repondent from SO18 5 – is there no one on the housing list there?

    I have spoken to peope at the aviary estate thoughand this is what they say:

    “These houses are for all the **** that are coming into the country”

    “The EU have told PUSH they need houses for immigrant workers”

    “Eastleigh is already full of Polish and *****”

    “The council and government need to build houses so they can get more Council tax and new homes bonus”

    Has nobody said any of this to you yet?

    Then there are the questions:

    “where are all these people going to work?”

    ” What about the Doctors?”

    “What about the schools?”

    If you are free on Thursday or Saturday how about we nip down to the Market and Swan Centre together with a flip cam and canvas some views then post them up on here or the Daily Mail’s Hedgeendpeople site?

    • September 27, 2011 at 8:46 am

      Cllr Chris Thomas’s suggestion of blocks of flats in Eastleigh town at July’s EBC meeting would be the answer then.

    • Daniel Clarke
      September 27, 2011 at 11:57 pm

      I hope you took issue with those comments you have quoted Steve. The Borough is looking to plan to deal with the local need (fact). Comments which simultaneously seek to misrepresent a council’s position as well as turn people against their fellow human beings are despicable. My grandfather along with millions of others put their lives on the line to fight an ideology which believed in doing that and I am disheartened when I see people use racial comments to stir up ill feeling for political purposes.

      • mm
        Eastleigh Xpress
        September 28, 2011 at 1:49 am

        I can tell you are going to enjoy my post about the aviary meeting 🙂

      • D Sneddon
        September 28, 2011 at 8:44 am

        So turning people against their fellow human beings is despicable, is it Cllr Clarke? So that must include your Party’s stance of pitching Allington Lane community against Boorley Green community in the battle of the developments then? Communities are human beings too. Despicable duplicity by the Lib Dems indeed and hypocritical in the extreme in your case.

  10. September 27, 2011 at 7:34 pm

    My word, that’s one heck of a list…

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      September 27, 2011 at 11:31 pm

      You mean the link to the SLAA list that KD posted?

      Yeah that really is very informative – and very interesting reading!

      Thanks Keith!

  11. rigel
    September 28, 2011 at 11:33 am

    I’m sorry but my children would prefer not to be saddled with the trillions of debt rather than a chance to buy a noddy box flat –

Comments are closed.