- Published: 13 May 2021 13 May 2021
Political Manoeuvring to resolve our St Neots Town Councillor problem, then much more plain sailing to agree the District Council representations and finally to see how well the Little Paxton Guides had portrayed the Village history after my recent talk to them. I had every pleasure in judging them fit for the award of their Heritage badges.
After the restful peace of yesterday, today saw us back at the heart of the local election aftermath. First, I was rather late to get up and dressed, but then I tended the conservatory fish and plants before getting ready for my meeting in Huntingdon. I drove to Pathfinder House and joined the meeting of political group leaders in the Chief Executive, Tony Gee's office. Derek Holley was representing the Conservative Group who are in a vast majority and Jim Lomax was representing Labour, who have five seats like the Liberal Democrats. We quickly agreed the disposition of standing committee places and then tackled the question of sub-committees, panels and working parties. I made a plea for less of them being classified as working parties or, if they remain so, then a further plea that the important ones be made large enough so that they can be representative (i.e. have Liberal Democrats on them).
** "Read More" BELOW for the complete story **
Then to the nomination of members to serve on then, one-by-one, and I just about got everything that we wanted, with important places secured on the St Neots Rec. Centre management committee, the Joint Transportation Panel, the Leisure Capital Review Working Party, Review of Local Government Working Party and many others. All this satisfactorily achieved, I drove home via Percy Meyer to see if he had got back to Offord after his dentist appointment. Once home, I had urgent messages on my answering machine from our election agent, Rob Williams, who had heard from the Councillors Association and I also managed to contact Percy Meyer who had also been talking to them and so I called them over to The Hayling View to discuss the matter. The message they both brought was that Tony Carmedy's criminal conviction and suspended sentence was sufficient to disqualify him from service as a councillor and, furthermore, if the other side got wind of this and made a challenge, then they could get a decision to run the whole Eaton Socon Town Council Election again which would be a great embarrassment and inconvenience for us!
We decided on a course of action which would be to discuss the details of his offence with Tony Carmedy who will be away and missing the Town Council and Group meetings this week, and then to get him to decline to take up his seat for "unexpected personal problems which would make it very difficult, if not impossible, to fulfil the role of a councillor". The plan would then be for us to recruit Ross McKay to fill his place by either getting the returning officer to promote him from the ballot or arranging a subsequent by-election in Eaton Socon. A very nervous Rob was a bit more relieved at having had the chance to discuss it and so we thus decided to adjourn the matter until Thursday/Friday. It was lunchtime by now and, after this, I returned to my office and tried to get some work done. I made telephone calls to Percy, Sally, Derek John and Michael about District and Town Council matters and then embarked on the typing of a document that listed in draft all of our St Neots and District Councillors together with which councils and functions they represented which was quite a business. Lastly a list of items for our St Neots Town Council Group Meeting this evening and then, after tea, I rushed out to see the Little Paxton Guides. I had previously attended one of their meetings and given a talk on The History of Little Paxton and this set them off doing a series of projects for their Heritage Badges.
My job this evening, was to review their work and assess it for badge authorisation. They had drawn a very large map of Little Paxton together and coloured it in, marking on the gravel pits, river roads and other features;and also making plasticine models of the older buildings. Then they had made a scrap book of newspaper cuttings and other local information and another of traditional recipes which was nice. Then each of them had taken a topic in the village (such as a building or feature) and taken photographs or drawn pictures before researching information and adding a narrative. Lastly, they had written and produced a play about the village shop of old and then acted it out for me as I watched. In all, I was most impressed and moved by all this which I found most rewarding for all of the efforts I had expended trying to bring back a real sense of community spirit to Paxton.
Sometimes, you wonder why you make all of the effort and question whether it is worthwhile. Other times, you see why. I went over to Avenue Road after my Guides visit and there joined the latter stages of our Town Council Group meeting which was dealing with the final arrangements for the St Neots Annual Meeting. The committee places and representations that had been agreed in outline with the Tories were discussed and endorsed by the rest of the group and then they went through the rest of the Agenda in advance. I took away the final list of names against positions in order to get a final copy typed up and duplicated but i was to expect to hear from the Tory spokesman direct on any last minute changes.