Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Conservative Group Leader going.

I am receiving news that Kevin Carroll has stood down as leader and the Conservative Group on Torbay Council will soon elect a replacement .

I am not sure and cannot find out whether Kevin stood down of his own accord (as I know he planned to do quite soon) or whether there was a coup at the Palace but no doubt all will become clear in due course. (updated - I have found out that having been challenged for the leadership I understand Kevin himself asked for a vote of confidence which he then lost by one vote)

I am hoping that Kevin, who is at an age when most people would rather be enjoying retirement than working 60 hours a week at the Town Hall, may quietly be a bit relieved that the task of marshalling the disparate group of personalities that is the Conservative Group will no longer be his problem, especially if the mayor chooses to keep him involved in other ways.

Kevin is one of the most dedicated and hard-working people I have ever had the pleasure of working with and I think he is a huge asset to Torbay and to the Conservative Party and whoever gets the job will find he is a very hard act to follow; in fact I think being group leader is a very difficult job when you have a powerful directly elected mayor and I think there are very few who could have managed the last two years with as much aplomb and determination as he has.

Politics can be a tough business.


mark hellyer fan club ! said...

Kevin Carroll is a ludicrous self-styled 'bluff northerner' - widely disliked and that dislike even extends to his Tory colleagues, those who see him closer to hand than anyone. Good riddance !

A force for good in the bay ? I see the HE couldn't find anyone to say a good word about him when reporting him demise ! Trust you to be out of step with everyone else once more Marcus.

Just need Lewis and Window Tanky gone now !!

Anonymous said...

Why the personal abuse?

No wonder the quality of local politics is so poor if the whole debate permanently revolves around peoples class, origins or personality (or in this case, all three).

mark hellyer fan club ! said...

A statement of fact I'm afraid. 'Tito' / Ahmad Hatter is not a popular guy, even amongst Tory ranks, except with Marcus.

To his supporters (beyond Marcus) can you enlighten me to his good points ?

Further don't recall class being mentioned at all. I think you're confusing me with Harriet Harman !

Still, I'm not sure that having an estate agent mayor and freemason builder at the head of the town hall regime was / is a good thing. And, surprise, surprise, they want to flog off large chunks of the bay to developers.

So c'mon Carroll fans sell me his merits !!!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that an anagram of 'Mark Hellyer Fan Cub' is Banal Hell Muck Fryer. And there are plenty of others, which include the word anal, or faecal, or f*ck ...

Unpleasant and stupid, I agree, but no worse than the general level of posting from that particular correspondent.

Barrie Wood said...

It's fair to say I'm not a fan of Cllr Carroll, but irrespective of the niceness or otherwise of Kevin Carroll my take is this :

Surely his position as the unelected [30K p.a.] Deputy Mayor is now surely untenable. He does not have the majority support of any party on the council. Not having the confidence of a majority of all councillors also makes him unsuitable for the DM post in my book.

BTW, Kevin is a 'bluff northerner' - one that rubs a lot of people up the wrong way - as evidenced only this week ! However, it'll be interesting to see who the group elect in his place. There's one or two large personalities amongst the 'rats' within the Tory group.

Kevin is entirely right about party divisions. The public don't like them. You need a unifying figure to lead your group, one respected by the opposition too. Who can / will it be ?

Finally, here's to Cllr. Jeanette Richards returning to full health soon. Opposing someone's ideas is fine, but nastiness because of differing views is not.

Anonymous said...

From a Tory perspective, what is it that you like about Kevin? No-one answered MHFC who asked about the merits of Cllr Carroll.

Do you think Mr. Oliver might throw his hat into the ring ? Would make life very interesting indeed !

And Window Twanky is ?!

Marcus Wood said...

I think there is a lot of guesswork out there about what Kevin is or isn't actually like from people who read about him in the paper but have never actually met him.

Why do I like Kevin? I personally get on with Kevin very well - he is a good laugh and enjoys a pint in the pub like me. But then I always like people who speak their mind and with whom you can disagree without it becoming personal. I also always like people who don't say one thing to your face and something entirely different behind your back.

FWIW I don't think this is action by the group is anything to do with his personality (which even he would probably agree is not exactly diplomatic) I think it is much more about the councillors ajusting to the reality of the mayoral/cabinet system.

I don't think they liked the fact that Kevin was both Nicks right hand man, and also their leader; the role of the mayor and his cabinet is to propose policy and the role of the backbench councillors (all of them, from all parties) is to scrutinise it and propose modifications.

As time has gone on and some of the newer councillors have found their feet I think they want a bit more freedom than the current arrangements have offered.

Barrie, I think party unity is important but not at the cost of having a voice. The public don't want their politicians to slavishly follow a party line; in a vibrant democracy a confidant political party needs people in it who are prepared to stand up for the constituents who elected them. There is a clear line between open debate and political splits (sadly all too often it is blurred by oppositions and the media); I don't think anyone wants a council made up of party apparatchiks mindlessly voting for anything put in front of them by the Mayor and knowing our councillors that is not what they want either.

As to who will stand? I have heard a few names mentioned but Gordon is not one of them.