HAVING worked for many years as a local government officer at a managerial level, I have worked with many politicians from all parties, and on rare occasions I have witnessed the dismissal of councillors as a result of misconduct, or fraud. I have never witnessed a dismissal occurring as a result of a councillor carrying out their duties on behalf of the electorate that they represent.
The reason given for the dismissal of Councillor Pain, “irreconcilable differences over policy” was in relation to the proposal for 1,800 new homes.
No other “differences over policy” have been mentioned, and Councillor Pain feels that he has a duty to represent his ward members.
Unfortunately, the actions of the leader of the council make it almost impossible for the final decision to build 1,800 new houses not to be approved. The dismissal of Councillor Pain as deputy leader sends a clear message to other Conservative councillors and even to officers of the council that there will not be questioning allowed over the new Core Strategy, as similar disciplinary actions could result.
No doubt the appointment of a new deputy leader will be one that is in total agreement with the plan to build 1,800 new houses.
Harborough District Council has spent £500,000 on a Core Strategy that is not worth the paper that it is written on. This expenditure could have been better utilised in defending against the developer’s appeals should planning permission have been refused!
I am sure that most charge-payers in the district would be more than happy to see the council fighting its corner and representing the wishes of the local residents.
This development seems to be the pet project of the leader of the council and, if he considers that he knows best, any objections will be dealt with accordingly. This is the reason why Option A, to build 1,000 new houses, supported by 97 per cent of the residents affected by these proposals, was disregarded. The number of houses was increased to 1,800 by the Executive Committee, and only opposed by Councillor Pain.
Any proposed future exhibitions or surveys to be conducted by the council in order to gather public opinion is a waste of public funds while the present leader is in his post, as he has made his position quite clear.
The honourable thing to do would be to resign in order for a proper debate to be held regarding such an important matter, but I doubt very much that this will occur.
It’s time that Councillor Rook was booted out!