Friday, January 30, 2009

Executive Board post held open for convicted criminal in hope he will win his legal appeal

I am really very angry about this.

Councillor Steve Hurst, Lib Dem, Wavertree ward, (where I live, represented by three councillors who have been or still are subject to Standards Board enquiries over their behaviours) was found guilty of an offence under the Representation of the People Act - I have blogged about the detail many times as the case has unfurled.

At Full Council this week, we were informed that Warren Bradley, LibDem and Council leader, had decided to hold this post open until such time as Steve Hurst's appeal against his conviction is heard. Presumably he prefers a convicted felon in absentia to a fully engaged alternative from his back benches. Presumably too this is because the only people that he could now choose from are those who did not vote for him in the leadership election.

And my understanding, after a question I asked at the Standards Committee, is that it could potentially be 6 months before that case is heard.

So, for the next 6 months or so, there will be NO Executive Member for Corporate Resources, rather his work and duties will be split up between other existing EMs. And we are expected to think that this is acceptable. And that they all have the slack and the extra capacity to take up this vital work, without it causing any of them any trouble at all.

I dont care what he was found guilty of, or why he is suspended, in this particular pont I wish to make, I would feel the same if he was perhaps instead incapacitated in some other way. What I vehemently object to is the holding open of this post, creating a cabinet of 9, rather than 10, just because it suits the LibDems politically.

Obviously it is a serious slur on the rest of their group's membership, that they could not even appoint an interim, but it is also a slur on democracy. What if there was to be a controversial vote within the Exec Board on a contentious item? Now there are only 9 of them to decide it.

Good luck to Hurst in his appeal (but I would not put my house on it), but it is not fair to the hundreds of thousands of people of Liverpool who are expected to simply do without, during this period.

It is simply NOT ethical.


Anonymous said...

I didn't realise all 3 of my councillors ( none of whom i voted for) were such @*$* ( or insert your own word) thought at least 1 would have had the decency to not been a total *****

scouseboy said...

If the executive members have enough free time to carry out the task currently vacated by the (convicted) executive member for Corporate Resources, then the rejected Labour budget amendment not to pay the six grand plus expenses for assistant executive members makes even more sense, the Fib dems can obviously do the job with one councillor for each portfolio, as they have patently displayed there is not enough work for an assistant.

scouseboy said...

As regards you being unfortunate enough to be represented by three lib dem councillors, you have my sympathy. Unfortunately, I cannot see things changing in the ward in which you live in the immediate future. The area where I live had the misfortune of having three lib dem councillors for many years, up to as late as 2007.
Due to lib dem
inaction in my ward, we now have two Labour councillors, and because of their hard work and commitment to our community will hopefully have the third seat in 2010. Bring it on!!

Anonymous said...

what is really unethical is the decision of labour to carry on taking the money for the shadow to the corporate performance post. So labour are taking money for 10 posts!!! youcould argue thatits not labours fault that stevehurst resigned but they had the chance to temporarily stop taking the money by making an announcement at council and decided not to.

and i wouldnt put money on the standards committee having a clear idea of the legal timetable. dates change very quickly so his hearig cold be a lot earlier than wha tyou are saying

Louise Baldock said...

You cannot seriously think that just because Hurst's work is being pushed out to colleagues, that we on the Labour benches have to do the same. Somebody still has to scrutinise the work of the portfolio, without a permanent EM it is all the more important that the shadow member does this.

You have absolutely no idea of what the roles are do you?

As to the timescales, I asked the standards committee because several of them are JPs and therefore in a position to have an idea of how long these things take.

I hope that LOTS of people read your comment, and see just how low your side is now sinking. In fact I am tempted to write to the papers to make your views known to a wider audience, the public would be enraged.