After attending an interesting debate in Keynsham [on] 22nd February between Philip Raby and Tim Warren I now understand that:
- Mr Raby is using the “Elect a Mayor Campaign” as a platform for his own future election to the position. Was I naïve not to have realised that in the first place?
- It seems ominous, to me, that in collecting the 10,000 signatures calling for the referendum the Campaign Committee apparently paid the collectors a pound a time for signatures.
- I got no answer to the accusation that Mr Raby was trumping the proper democratic process in order to short-cut his way to power. Not for Mr Raby investing hard work in his local community, gaining local trust, getting elected to the Council, and then gaining the respect and trust of his fellow Councillors and getting elected again by them to the leadership.
- Mr Raby, said “I would form a cabinet …” so that he could show real leadership in getting things done, especially saving money by cuts and efficiencies. I noted that he could use the minority rule to get his budget through, perhaps using cronies bent over a pork-barrel?
- He seemed to have little idea of leadership in terms of the realities of creating change by intelligent formulation, patient discussion, negotiation and persuasion. He seemed not to realise that savings by efficiency rather than mere cuts requires both financial and people skills, that a leader of change in local government must have solid political experience married to the practical organisational and personal skills needed to effectively navigate the complex needs of the tasks involved.
My NO is to the idea of an elected Mayor by-passing having to work hard and gain the trust of a local community and then getting elected, and then gaining the respect and trust of fellow elected Councillors.
Why shouldn’t Mr Raby first persuade his own local community to elect him their local Councillor, after all five Independents have already been elected?
Terry Edwards, Keynsham resident