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In the News / Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Last post by Shizzy on Today at 13:23:24 »
So following Saturdays defeat, BoJo is going for another vote today! Keep voting until he gets the answer he wants - quite ironic that!!


Leaving the MP's death at the hands of a nutcase to one side (though I think Oliver Letwin needs a bodyguard from now on ...),


Mmmm, the only MP's I saw needing police protection were Rees-Mogg and Leadsom...

And Jess Phiilips
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In the News / Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Last post by baldy on Yesterday at 09:41:38 »
That was due to a particular mob at the time.
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In the News / Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Last post by Bob DeBilda on Yesterday at 08:28:56 »
So following Saturdays defeat, BoJo is going for another vote today! Keep voting until he gets the answer he wants - quite ironic that!!


Leaving the MP's death at the hands of a nutcase to one side (though I think Oliver Letwin needs a bodyguard from now on ...),


Mmmm, the only MP's I saw needing police protection were Rees-Mogg and Leadsom...
4
In the News / Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Last post by baldy on October 20, 2019, 11:32:41 AM »
Three-and-a-half years, two extensions, seven defections, 21 deselections, three prime ministers, Death of 1 MP   countless amendments, two prorogations, one Supreme Court judgement, 66 million Brits losing the will to live and we’re still at square one.
Oh well several more years to come yet with the trade deal with the eu..

Leaving the MP's death at the hands of a nutcase to one side (though I think Oliver Letwin needs a bodyguard from now on ...), it's all the fault of remoaners who have fought to prevent the result of the 2016 referendum being implemented in order to stop Brexit. Most remoaners are disgraceful liars pretending they want delays to help get a better deal but really they think any delay will help lead to a remain position.

In local government, it is an established principle that once a decision is taken that all opponents should stop trying to debate the decision and should help to implement the decision. Council constitutions are written to prevent constant turmoil over the same argument.  Of course, there are always political parties that carry on their campaigns outside the debating chamber.  Normally, however, decisions get taken by a party or coalition with a clear majority so that the council stays relatively calm and stable on key decisions.

The real scandal is that Parliament is failing to implement the decision taken by the public. What was the point of the referendum if not to pass the key decision to the public?
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In the News / Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Last post by Maxi on October 20, 2019, 08:50:48 AM »
Three-and-a-half years, two extensions, seven defections, 21 deselections, three prime ministers, Death of 1 MP   countless amendments, two prorogations, one Supreme Court judgement, 66 million Brits losing the will to live and we’re still at square one.
Oh well several more years to come yet with the trade deal with the eu..

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It strengthens the funding case for a Westbury A350 bypass when other pinch points along the route - all with easier routes to design and obtain planning permission - have already been built / funded.

My understanding of things is that the outcome of the last Westbury Bypass project (Refusal of permission after a long public inquiry even though funding from the SW Regional Assembly was confirmed subject only to planning permission) left a deep scar in the County Hall team and they are keen to avoid that sort of disaster again. Hence doing everything else first and seeking to obtain a sum large enough to cover the cost of (possibly) going the long way around to the west of Westbury.
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A question put and point well made by WTCs Mayor Mike Sutton, but in reality the bypass is for Beanacre, the purpose I suppose being that it eases the flow of traffic, as does the Lacock bypass.
As always however road improvement seems to be concentrated on the North of the county nearer to the M4 and it is as always "jam tomorrow" for Westbury.
In this situation Westbury need to campaign and argue for any new housing developments to include plans for traffic relief for Warminster Rd and Haynes Rd, West End and Trowbridge Rd.
It has been suggested that in the future Westbury will have to accept somewhere in the region of another 600 dwellings, maybe some of these will be in Wiltshire Councils plans to provide 1000 council homes.
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Is a bypass for Melksham really more important than Westbury.? Their town centre is already by-passed
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Just got back from the meeting. Allan Creedy gave quite a detailed explanation of the funding context and background for A350 improvements.

Here is a simple summary of what is otherwise a long and technical essay:

Forget the Local Economic Partnership as its funding stream is too small.

Government is now putting large amounts of £Billions into Strategic Road schemes (Highway Agency handles this for Motorways and primary routes) and Major Road Schemes (A350 comes into this).

WC has submitted bids for the 2020-2025 funding tranche which includes the Melksham Bypass. Expect decisions within next 12 months or so. If Melksham Bypass is funded for starting in 2020-2025, then WC will put Westbury A350 bypass into next bidding round for 2026-2030. If so, this means that analysing possible routes and outline costs etc would begin in about 2022, so that the bid is fully prepared ready for submission for the 2026-2030 funding period.
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In the News / Re: Do we really care about Brexit
« Last post by baldy on October 09, 2019, 09:59:39 AM »
The London Assembly standards investigation, including an extra level by the police into possible criminal aspects, into whether Boris complied with the local government code of conduct whilst he was London Mayor (2008-16) interests me because the code of conduct was the same for all local councillors until 2012 and since then they would have had the same basic requirements.

Every time I hear a Labour Party politician explain the issues, they get the issues wrong because they don't understand the way the code used to or does now work.

Basically, the Mayor and other elected members need to declare on a register their relevant interests such as ownership of property in their authority's area and any shareholdings plus any employment or membership of a relevant executive body such as a trustee so that anyone can see whether any dealings by that elected member might affect their own earnings or financial interests. As far as I can tell, Boris would have declared all his and mention of these declarations is just a red herring.

There is a separate requirement for elected members to declare any registered interests affected and any affected other relevant interests when they are using the power of their office to make a decision as part of their elected role. This means if the elected member themself or their close family or close friends are involved or affected by the decision, this must be declared at the meeting when the decision takes place.  If there is no financial effect, it is just a personal interest. If there is likely to be a financial effect as a result of the decision, this used to be a "prejudicial" interest and is now called a "pecuniary" interest and these definitely need to be declared at the relevant meeting if the member is taking part. A personal interest is also supposed to be declared but it does not stop the member from taking part in or making the decision. Forgetting to declare a personal interest would be a breach of the code but it is a very minor matter and would require an apology to be made.

It seems to me that Boris never took part in any decisions that were actually handled by committees he was not on or were simply handled by senior officers doing their job under the relevant allocation of duties amongst officers at the time.  If so, Boris had no need to make the extra declarations of who his "close friends" are. It would have been up to the officers to ask if he had any declarable interests when he is lobbying for a particular decision that he is not taking himself.

I can't see how an investigation can get anywhere towards an official code breach if the relevant officer chose not to make an issue of it at the time. In my mind are examples of what would happen at Wiltshire Council, whether it is a cabinet member or a backbencher who might be trying to influence a decision to be taken by ofifcers under their proper delegated powers.  What would happen is that whoever is concerned (officer or member) would brief the monitoring officer (usually the chief legal officer / director) who would advise on whether declarations are needed and the monitoring officer would email the member to say what his advice is.  In the case of a member lobbying an officer and not saying that a mistress would benefit, I have to laugh at how the email would be worded to suggest that someone thinks there is a mistress involved if the member is high profile and married ...  and if there is no actual official requirement for a declaration anway ...

Where it is an officer decision and the member is not declaring a prejudicial / pecuniary interest and if no-one raised it with the monitoring officer at the time or soon after, and if there is no clear evidence that a declarable interest (ie. close relationship) existed, I don't see how Boris can be found in breach.  It is effectively unsubstantiated tittle tattle ...

It seems to me that the American former model and pole-dancing (ahem) "entrepreneur", has in the past bragged about her relationship with Boris and the people making these claims are not her friends and its all now hearsay with no hard written evidence.  None of this would stand up in a proper legal hearing ... and Boris definitely has the resources to take the lot straight to a High Court to enforce proper procedures about what "evidence" is relevant and what is not (eg. hearsay by so-called friends or acquaintances from the long past who have no actual written records  that can be proven to be originals written by the relevant people ...).

Even if Boris was himself making a decision, such as letting someone attend a trip, then if that person pays their own way and if there is no actual contract being signed (ie. its just a trip allowing someone to meet or talk to other people etc), this is not actually a "prejudicial or Pecuniary" interest as the trip itself is not involving payment to Boris or his close friend etc.

I don't think Boris would ever have been silly enough to himself decide to give a grant to anyone if the beneficiary was a close friend or relative as he would have known that that would have needed a declaration and by law he must exclude himself from that prejudicial / pecuniary decision. If he breached this, it's a criminal offence ... He obviously did not do this, so the whole story is just a really bad stir by Labourites and other Boris opponents ...
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