Saturday, May 07, 2005

The chief executive of the council and the head of childrens (and education) services have both apparently resigned - announced the day after the election.

I have been a constant critic of both of them. Indeed the dismal Torbay Council has been at the centre of my election campaign - is there any connection between their decision to go and the election result?

Undeniably the decision not to make this public before the election was a political one -so whether our campaign had any bearing on the resignations or not they obviously considered that a public announcement before polling day would have been good for our campaign.

What are the chances now of a repreive for Upton school?


Ruth Goncalves said...

Interesting to say the least that the chief executive and head of childrens services have apparently resigned as you say the day after the election.
There most certainly should be a reprieve for Upton St James School as it is laughable that the gentleman that started the whole sorry saga of proposed closure will not be there to see the proposal through if indeed it goes to the Schools Organisation Commitee a point that the lib dem council should consider when meeting on Tues 17th to decide the fate of the childrens education

Anonymous said...


I recall when those Lib Dem Councillors awarded themselves a Pay Increase and all hell broke loose and you then called on Adrian Sanders to sort them out.

Apart from the Tory record of a 91% pay increase for councillors when they were last in office - shouldn't you be getting your councillor's back together now?

After all, you have lost Salloway, Phillips, Arnold, in by-elections now Turnbull, Brennan, Hodge. And we now hear today that Craig has gone too.

Whats going on - and what are you doing to sort this mess out, if you let this carry on there will soon be no Conservatives left in Torbay!

Anonymous said...

DAILY MAIL, 13.5.05

by Simon Heffer

THE QUESTION of Europe was hardly mentioned during the election campaign.
The British public could, therefore, be forgiven for thinking that the role
of the EU in our lives was, if not negligible, then at least under control.

How wrong they would be. The European Parliament, voting at Strasbourg on
Wednesday, decided that millions of British workers had to abide by a
maximum 48-hour working week. Failure to do so would result in our
Government being hauled up before the European courts and threatened with
massive financial punishment.

Welcome to the world of supra-national sovereignty.
The fact that Europe was not an election issue, given the astonishing power
the EU now has over us, begs various questions. The answers, though, would
be pretty depressing.

Labour did not want to talk about Europe because its record of capitulation
to Brussels would horrify most voters. Its unequivocal support for the
European Constitution says all one needs to know about it's real regard for
our sovereignty. Despite the imminence of a referendum on that constitution
­ to be held in a year's time ­ the Conservative Party also chose to say

As the party that took Britain into the club in 1973 ­ with the then Prime
Minister, Edward Heath, deliberately misrepresenting the consequences ­ it,
too, has a difficult track record. Also, in the 2001 election it went to
the other extreme and ran a campaign about Europe and little else, which
partly explained the electoral disaster it suffered.

And the Lib Dems, with an approach to Europe even more extreme than
Labour's in the desire for federation, also realised that discretion would
be the better part of valour.

And so, in this conspiracy of silence, profound issues about the vast and
expanding right of a foreign power to dictate to our country remained

The truth is that the 48-hour week compromises one of the most sacred
relationships in our national life: the contract between boss and employee.
It has always been a matter of mutual agreement what the terms and
conditions of service in any job will be, and that includes the exact
nature of an employee's working hours.

John Major won an opt-out in 1993 from the Working Time Directive that
would have spelled the end of this freedom. Our European partners have
always resented this, because the lack of a working hours restriction gave
our firms a competitive advantage over those on the continent.

Now that the big European economies ­ notably France and Germany ­ are
basket cases with low growth, massive unemployment and falling shares of
export markets, their anger with us is even more pronounced.

That explains why the European Parliament was so keen to bring us into
line. What is more embarrassing for the Government ­ which knows the
damage that would be done to our economy if the opt-out were revoked, with
85 per cent of construction and transport firms saying it would make their
lives more difficult ­ is that the motion so was passed with the help of
Labour MEPs.

The EU not only seems oblivious to our needs, but also to the needs of the
whole of Europe. Enforcing such restrictive practices will further reduce
Europe's competitiveness, which is already suffering from the effects of
far more efficient economies in the Far East.

This proposal is but a token of the levels of damaging interfer­ence Europe
can inflict upon member states. And it exemplifies the betrayal of the
electorate that was implicit in the main parties' decision to avoid debate
on this issue.

And because, unlike most other European countries, Britain inevitably plays
by the rules, the effect of this directive being implemented would be
devastating. Many firms would simply not be able to operate and would close
before they went bankrupt. Unemployment would rise.

The cost of enforcement would also be gigantic.

High-minded talk by Labour MEPs and many trades unionists about improving
the 'work-life balance' would look absurd when, for many, there was no work
with which to balance 'life'.

The Government has said it will fight the imposition of the directive, but
without big allies among other governments, its hopes are by no means

As is the case with our immigration policies, it will simply be a case of
our masters in Brussels telling British politicians to do as they are told
rather than allowing them the traditional power to act independently.

With the referendum on the constitution coming closer, this reminder of our
enslavement to Brussels could not have come at a worse time for a
Government that wants that constitution imposed on our country.

There can be no pretence that it will put an end to this violation of what
have always been considered the sovereign rights of its peoples. The whole
point of the exercise is to take even more areas of sovereignty (such as
foreign affairs, for example) away from us and give them to Europe.

Of course, Mr Blair is hoping to avoid a referendum ­ something he will
probably be able to achieve if the French say 'Non' in their vote a
fortnight on Sunday.

However, he reckoned without the spectacularly corrupt proposal by the EU,
debated yesterday, to seek to allow the French to cut the rate of VAT on
one of their great national pastimes ­ eating in restaurants ­ from 19.6 to
5.5 per cent. [emphasis added]

The news that this bribe was even being considered was enough to reverse
the trend of 21 consecutive opinion polls, and put the 'Oui' vote six points
ahead almost overnight. Regardless of what happens in France, the
constitution looks set to be vetoed in Britain ­ it is hugely unpopular, as
is the Prime Minister who is its chief advocate.

However, the removal of our opt-out on working hours would kill it stone
dead, and would open up once more to scrutiny what we have already given up
to the EU, and the nature of what we might lose next.

In the event of the EU letting us keep the opt-out ­ and that is by no
means certain ­ it would only be in return for some massive surrender on
another front. That is how the EU works.

The fact is that, outside the euro, and less regulated than our neighbours,
Britain is simply too economically successful for some of its partners, and
so handicaps must be shackled on to us.

So it is no wonder that none of our leading politicians wants to remind us
of their, and our, impotence in the face of our true rulers in Brussels.

And while it is typical that the Government should promise to fight to save
our rights, it will also be typical that the fight will end, one way or the
other, in defeat for our best interests.

How appropriate it was, though, that this startling reminder of the
relentless power Europe has over us should come so soon after we have gone
to the polls. For unless we take radical steps to win some of that power
back, at the next election, there will be hardly any point in voting at all.