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Malcolm Robinson

Local Town/parish Elections - 2 May 2013

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For the record, can I just say that no councillor abstained in the precept increase voting. However, one councillor voted AGAINST the increases and that councillor was ME. I agree that the public should have been permitted to engage in a discussion over the merits or otherwise of increasing a precept. After all it is public money and affects everyone. Similarly, I am also in favour of an increase in the public input into Town Council meetings. I had to accept that I was in a minority in these beliefs but always voted in line with my views and if re-elected, will continue to do so and thereby represent the views of the community of West Bedlington where I too live.

I apologies for getting the facts wrong I thought you abstained, saying that all the town council chairman/Mayor asked was for those in favor which is wrong of them to do.

However throughout the town councils life you could have made it very hard for the other Councillors. Also if we remember a Conservative Party leaflet delivered to residents said that the YOU as the Conservative Party Candidate were doing so much for the Ridge Farm Allotments (which is the incorrect name to start with, it is Ridge Terrace Allotments) and that the allotments all looked/were in a derelict state, which only one was which had a photo taken of it and under says "We deserve better then this" and says also "I am doing my best to ensure that the town council fulfills its duty to allotment holders." Yet whenever allotments where raised nothing was said from any Councillor only silent gestures (shaking your head) from you towards the public, You never spoke up and only wanted to take the credit for what the allotment holders and the allotment association did to get votes that is not right and you were shot down for it by the secretary of the Ridge Terrace allotment association at a meeting in front of the public.

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I apologies for getting the facts wrong I thought you abstained, saying that all the town council chairman/Mayor asked was for those in favor which is wrong of them to do.

However throughout the town councils life you could have made it very hard for the other Councillors. Also if we remember a Conservative Party leaflet delivered to residents said that the YOU as the Conservative Party Candidate were doing so much for the Ridge Farm Allotments (which is the incorrect name to start with, it is Ridge Terrace Allotments) and that the allotments all looked/were in a derelict state, which only one was which had a photo taken of it and under says "We deserve better then this" and says also "I am doing my best to ensure that the town council fulfills its duty to allotment holders." Yet whenever allotments where raised nothing was said from any Councillor only silent gestures (shaking your head) from you towards the public, You never spoke up and only wanted to take the credit for what the allotment holders and the allotment association did to get votes that is not right and you were shot down for it by the secretary of the Ridge Terrace allotment association at a meeting in front of the public.

Well Adam, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, I did apologise for the slight error in name and my recollection of the other events is somewhat different. As for me just "shaking my head" I think you will find that me being out voted 7 to 1 whenever I did not take a majority veiw was behind this. I will just note that it is very easy to be critical on a forum. As it has been said, we all have our own opinions and it is good that the community is taking an interest in the affairs of the Town.

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Well Adam, that is your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, I did apologise for the slight error in name and my recollection of the other events is somewhat different. As for me just "shaking my head" I think you will find that me being out voted 7 to 1 whenever I did not take a majority veiw was behind this. I will just note that it is very easy to be critical on a forum. As it has been said, we all have our own opinions and it is good that the community is taking an interest in the affairs of the Town.

You could still could have "highjacked the meeting/never stopped talking about it" If you had wanted to, Also i would have had a debate with you and the other candidates however none of you asked for it so why do it if only the three independent candidates are doing it?

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Do you seriously think that a chairman who was known for telling members of the public to "shut up/sit down" would have tolerated an individual councillor trying to highjack a meeting? In addittion, such conduct would not exactly be democratic.

Adam, you and I have spoken many times after meetings and I know that we share some opinions and are poles apart on others.

I too would have had a debate with you and the other candidates if you too had asked. However, not everyone is on here or would be prepared to participate. Therefore people may not get a balanced view of the situation. The fact that certain councillors are not standing for re-election speaks more about who is prepared to defend their views/corner than anything else. At the end of the day no matter which Party (or none) we represent, we all want to do our best for our community and that I think is the most important thing of all.

I wish everyone good luck on Thursday 2nd May whichever ward they seek to represent.

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Do you seriously think that a chairman who was known for telling members of the public to "shut up/sit down" would have tolerated an individual councillor trying to highjack a meeting? In addittion, such conduct would not exactly be democratic.

Adam, you and I have spoken many times after meetings and I know that we share some opinions and are poles apart on others.

I too would have had a debate with you and the other candidates if you too had asked. However, not everyone is on here or would be prepared to participate. Therefore people may not get a balanced view of the situation. The fact that certain councillors are not standing for re-election speaks more about who is prepared to defend their views/corner than anything else. At the end of the day no matter which Party (or none) we represent, we all want to do our best for our community and that I think is the most important thing of all.

I wish everyone good luck on Thursday 2nd May whichever ward they seek to represent.

I was talking about a debate in a public place with the public asking the candidates questions and the candidates answering (a bit like question time.) However as you said most candidates would likely not like to debate in case they got in an argument or looked like fools or both, I don't think names need to be mentioned.

I would also like to say good luck to everyone in the running.

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Dajazar,

I am not going to enter into the disagreement you have with Adam but I would like to take you up on one thing you mention.

"Town council meetings are minuted.”

I would say certain bits of them were! As you know the chairman of the council, which you were a member of, ruled that the public could ask questions (up to a maximum of 2 for 3 minutes each???????????) but we had to submit our names and address first. (Again ?????????) What was the point of having to submit names and addresses if the questions were not minuted as part of the meeting?

Let's not even begin to suggest they were, when I asked the clerk about this he said the council were under no obligations to write them down because the meeting proper hadn't started! (Again ?????)

I along with many others are still waiting for a lot of answers to the questions we submitted in good faith over the last 4 years! In fact Adam's old man is still waiting for a reply to a question he submitted in writing, after being asked to do so by the chair, 4 years ago!

I realise that decisions had to be made in these meetings and ONLY elected members could take part in the vote, after all that's why we voted you guys in, but to deny yourselves more complete knowledge of the matter being discussed to me just smacks of hubris, like I have already mentioned.

At the end of the day, like all other chaired and constituted meetings, the way the meeting is conducted is entirely up to the chair. The fact that the outgoing chair conducted the meetings in such an unaccountable way probably says more about the state of local democracy than anything and the willingness of the old elected grandees to flout their constituents initial support has led to quite a vitriolic backlash according to what I am being told as I canvass around the doors.

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I have created this thread for everone to discuss/debate the upcoming local & parish council elections.

County council as well as parish and town council elections are taking place on 2 May 2013, which makes it a great year to have your say in the future of your county.

http://www.northumberland.gov.uk/default.aspx?page=15621

Using the link above will provide information about voting, standing to be councillor and other ways to get involved in local democracy. From registering to vote to finding out how younger people can get involved, you will be able to find out what you need to know.

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My, My! What have I been missing? I move away from Bedlington and the place goes ape! I think I'll move back just to keep you lot under control.

Good luck Malcolm m8 give them a good kicking lad, you know where I am if you need me!!

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I would say certain bits of them were! As you know the chairman of the council, which you were a member of, ruled that the public could ask questions (up to a maximum of 2 for 3 minutes each???????????) but we had to submit our names and address first. (Again ?????????) What was the point of having to submit names and addresses if the questions were not minuted as part of the meeting?

In addition to that Malcolm the addresses are never noted down they once asked me to send a sealed written reply to a member of the public, who i knew.

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My, My! What have I been missing? I move away from Bedlington and the place goes ape! I think I'll move back just to keep you lot under control.

Good luck Malcolm m8 give them a good kicking lad, you know where I am if you need me!!

Merlin,

Nice to hear your dulcet tones once again being given vent on the site! :dribble: I hope you will become a regular once again!

Anyway thanks for message of support and I have to say I have been overwhelmed and humbled by the amount of people, who I don't know, not only wishing me well but also offering to help in any way they can. It makes it all worthwhile because I feel I haven't just made a stand myself it's something a lot of other people have identified and agree with.

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My, My! What have I been missing? I move away from Bedlington and the place goes ape! I think I'll move back just to keep you lot under control.

Good luck Malcolm m8 give them a good kicking lad, you know where I am if you need me!!

The kids and their Mams at the school have missed seeing a scarlet faced man jumping up and down in the back lane. Edited by keith

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My God we need a caring council this time - the current encumbents haven't come up trumps. Suggest you think very carefully who you vote for in the forthcoming elections.

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Well you could always vote the way certain so called councilors "expect" and this thread/conversation will be continuing as it has for DECADES or vote for a CHANGE it may make a difference compared to the local crop.

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It amazes me that none of the three main parties in tomorrow's election have mentioned the biggest threat to NCC which is about to hit. This being the £86M they have to 'save' over the next 3-4 years.

The last Administration claimed to have saved £100M over the last 4 years, that out of a discretionary pot of around £400M. That means the next £86M comes out of a pot of just £300m! In effect in about 7 years (4 gone 3 to come) NCC will have reduced its services and deliveries by over 50% yet maintained the same charge. Please don't allow any of them to claim they haven't increased rates, they haven't in the strictest sense but they have reduced what we pay them to deliver! In other words we will be paying about double for the same service deliveries soon! And that's not even including the services devolved to Parish and Town councils which have to be charged again for!

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Another one to consider:

3 years ago I said at a NCC Area Meeting that the elephant in the room was their public sector pension deficit which at the time was running at around £350M. None of the councillors present wanted to answer me and it was passed to an officer who really only confirmed my figures. After pressing the chair I was told they didn't have an answer but they did expect central government to bail them out???? I asked if they understood that pressing people into early retirement with enhanced pension contributions as golden handshakes (AKA middle and top ranking staff) would increase that deficit figure substantially. Seems I was persona non grata once again!

The latest figure I have seen suggests a NCC pension deficit around £470M but we are promised a full disclosure next year.

Now is it just me or does that £100M+ increase figure sound familiar? Oh yes we have just had £100M chopped out of our services which would now lead me to ask, have we seen all the savings and cut backs we have endured over the last 4 years swallowed up by the increase in pension deficit which we somehow have to fund?

We have saved £100M but increased debt by £120M, and that in a pot only the lucky few can access meaningfully!

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I wonder if anyone can explain to me just what the large hoarding positioned outside of the Ridge Farm means when is states in bold red lettering 'VOTE LABOUR' and underneath Cut Grass Not Services?

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I have a plan - why don't we just get rid of the parish and town councils, vote them out, just tell them we don't them anymore, I'm sure we can. They are just another way of getting yet more money out of us, a stealth tax, but they call it a precept (or was it an inept), so ordinary people don't know what they are on about. One assumes that if you don't like what they are doing with our money (or just don't like them), you can vote someone else in - Well shiver me timbers, I learnt something new the other day, they vote each other in apparently, some of the parish councillors in Bedlington this election are being returned automatically! and their names are still on the ballot papers, how does that one work? - And as far as not being political is concerned (LOL), what a load of botox - Confusing, your not kidding - give me strength!!!

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I must say if i am elected to West Bedlington Town Council i will try my best to get the best service for least amount of money, I will not back out of that pledge. Unlike political parties who make pledges then break them when they get in power.

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No it isn't Keith, it was easy for Suetonius to say! :D

Latin is a language

as dead as dead can be.

It killed the ancient Romans

and now its killing me.

Funny what never leaves you once you learn it.

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