They say a day is a long time in politics, yet this last year seems like no time at all.
Now before I start on what is behind that particular comment, I want to state (For the Record) that this particular blog is not making any comment on the capability or ability of our new Mayor, Deputy Mayor or any member of the highly esteemed Winsford Town Council (Labour 10, Lib Dems 5).
With that on the record, a year ago, I went along to the annual AGM of the said Winsford Town Council (WTC) to watch the making of the new Mayor after the then current Mayor, Cllr Ailsa Gaskill-Jones, stood down after a successful year in office. Winsford has a "Mayoral Convention" which means that the Mayor is chosen based on standing and seniority and this means that the Mayor does not always come from the ruling party. A fair and equitable, perhaps indeed a noble act for our venerable town council.
Therefore, we were expecting to see the Elder Statesmen of the council, Cllr Malcolm Gaskill, rightly take over as the Mayor of Winsford. It has been clear for a long time that our Labour group have not seen eye to eye with Cllr Gaskill, it could be argued that not many people do but that is perhaps for more discussion in a later blog. To say "they were not getting on very well" would be quite the understatement for those of us who take the time to visit the WTC meetings.
Add into this mix the fact that a new Town Clerk had just been appointed after the long standing and excellent Alan Warburton headed off into retirement. The new Town Clerk (Mark Bailey) came with many years of experience in the public sector and with a glowing reputation. During this last year he has in my opinion been proven to be a first class choice to take over from Alan.
So, back to the meeting a year ago then.....Labour proposed to suspend the Mayoral Conventions for a period of three years. After a heated discussion, this was passed by a Labour majority.
Why? It's the question that has never adequately answered then or ever since. The "reason" given was that the new Clerk needed time to settle in and gain experience of the role. Understandable, I guess, except that if that were indeed the case, why was he appointed in the first place? Labour held the majority on the selection committee after all. Did they appoint the wrong person, even after telling us the new Clerk had loads of experience and was the right man for the job?
Or was it more likely that Labour simply did not want Cllr Malcolm Gaskill to be the Mayor. Did they fear him getting more press coverage then them? Or again is it more likely that Labour simply do not like any kind of opposition, as we have seen at CWaC.
Either way, it doesn't show Labour in a good light, either being incompetent in appointing the right town Clerk or petty and disrespectful in how they have treated the next Mayoral candidate. Did I mention that by the time the Mayoral Convention is back on track it will be at the Council elections in 2019? Funny that eh?
Fast forward to this year and of course our Liberal chums have not forgotten (they love to fight old and lost causes e.g. Handley Hill School, Brexit referendum). Cllr M. Gaskill gives a "damning speech" during the Mayor making meeting and refused to take part in the event by refusing to vote for the Mayor or his Deputy.
I can understand the new Mayor of Winsford, Cllr Mike Kennedy ( who I am sure will do an excellent job) being annoyed at the Lib Dems, after all, Labour have only given themselves three years to showcase themselves locally (in which they will no doubt never make a reference to Jeremy Corbyn either) and the Labour spin machine goes off again on their oppositions supposed "gutter politics" rather than their own actions which led to this point.
Time for a change locally in my opinion but Labour Cllrs need to remember one thing in politics.....
A day may be a long time.... but......you reap what you sow......