Wednesday, 22 May 2013

Failure at the top of Medway Council Cabinet

When a football manager loses vital games, no matter how well their team performed, they are
Over seeing failure - Cllr Rodney Chambers

sacked or have the decency to resign.

When a military commander is defeated heavily in battle, no matter what the odds were against them, they are replaced or have the good grace to die in battle.

When a minister screws up massively or a Party leader losses an election by a serious amount they are promoted side ways, replaced or resign.

Not so for the Medway Conservatives.

The ruling Medway Council have been in power for quite some time with quite a majority, which against the trend they increased in 2011. Yet despite this there have been some well documented clangers that have been dropped from a very high height.

The Medway Bus station over spend, the bridge to no where on the Isle or Grain, the budget that simply doesn’t add up, the Darley rail bridge enlargement, the Ofsted results, the Medway test failure, farcical consultation and privitisation of vital elderly care homes, roads in dire need of repair – the list is fairly expansive and I could go on.

Who has resigned their post as portfolio holder in this time?


No one.

There had been quite a substansive move by politicos and opposition parties to get Councillor Wicks to resign as portfolio holder of Children’s services after the debacle of the Medway test and the Child services that protect the most vulnerable in society were rated unsatisfactory by Ofsted showing that basic consultation and referals were up to twice that of the acceptable national average. Whether he was personally responsible or not is no longer relevant, he should have biten the bullet and resigned as public confedence in him was/is exceptionally low and that is not what you need in someone who is overseeing our children’s wellbeing. I use the past tense as last week he was rotated out and Cllr Mike O'Brien has taken his place but it took two years for this to happen and this farce should not have been allowed to continue publically for so long.

Then we turn to Councillor Jarrett the portfolio holder for finance. After this year's budget meeting with figures that did not add up, parking fees shown as incorrect, failure to come up with a financial plan to pay for Medway Tunnel other than to rob from the road repair funds he has shown that when it comes to financial wizardry he is less of a Gandalf and more of a Paul Daniels.

When you slot in the other mistakes and almost reckless spending on capital projects gone wrong like the bus station or the Hoo bridge at the expense of Sure start centres and elderly care you are forced to ask serious questions about his financial management. Yes he is doing a tough job with limited funds and I do not envy him in that respect but at the same time he is wielding the axe and purse like a drunk headsman on pay day and my daughter who is just shy of three can add up figures slightly more convincingly. Again public perception is that the Sherriff of Capstone is taxing the heart and soul out of Medway’s poorest to pay for Mayoral dinners, capital projects and regeneration when they want a more “back to basics” approach. Confidence is being lost.

Then you have the top of the structure. Councillor Chambers the Conservative and Council leader prosiding over them all. Again, he has not been personally responsible for the actions of his subordinates but he is where the buck must stop. Going back to the original examples, should a goal keeper play consistently poorly and concede goals left, right and centre it is the manager who will lose his post first. After the disasterous German invasion of Norway it was Chamberlain who stood down as Prime Minister not Carton de Wiart as military officers. So why has Rodney Chambers still clung to his position? Should he not act and forcibly replace those who have failed so spectacularly as any good leader would do? Should he take the bullet himself or more likely cling to the map table to the bitter end moving phantom divisions whilst a Red (and Gold) steamroller relieve him of command at the next local election?
  No - the rumbling Conservative band wagon continues unabated here and the back slapping continues.

1 comment:

  1. Then you have the top of the structure. Councillor Chambers the Conservative and Council leader prosiding over them all.

    Current Sensor