Looking back over the year’s forum postings there is one single issue that stands out; It’s not the crass stupidities that the Chairman and Vice Chairman-John Ireland and Judy Dalton-are capable of doing. It’s not the way APC has degenerated into a Labour clique to the detriment of all residents. Nor the way the Parish Council fails to listen and deliver what the residents feel is needed to enhance our community. It’s about balance, that basic give and take between individuals and groups. Lack of balance creates disturbance from which problems spiral out of control. Whether it’s the Labour group who seek to control Anston Parish meetings or domineering chairpersons who have been in the position too long who feels that only his/her way is right. Clerks faced with councillors who reject modern technology because “no one uses it” and Councillors who seek to exclude the very people who pay the bills the moment any vaguely contentious topic is raised.
Then there are people like John Ireland who thinks his god like powers and council Standing Orders over ride that of parliament. Add to this a heady mix of economically illiterate councillors who fail to realise and understand that it is their job to offer competent advice or feel they will be ignored and there is a ticking bomb. Good councillors will listen to legal and commercial advice, ensure they have a sound understanding of that advice, take it on board and act and vote accordingly. Councillors make a mockery of democracy when they are told how to vote on instructions from their party whip or party leader and do not vote with their conscience. Or abstain. (The act or habit of deliberate self-denial) Abstention is a fudge.
It’s a tightrope for both sides, a matter of balance for both sides, one false step can spell disaster unless both sides are prepared to give and take. Verbal abuse disguised as debate is not an answer nor should it be the norm.