No Consultation? – Avoids having to lie?
The anger shown by residents and business owners from Blackthorn Rectory Farm at last Wednesday nights Borough Council Cabinet meeting was both understandable and justifiable.
To be suddenly find without any consultation that the Northampton Conservatives, the party who are so fond of telling everyone they are the party of small businesses, are going to sell off the Blackthorn workshops putting 100 people out of work was bad enough.
But to then be told that by Cllr Mackintosh, the Conservative Leader of the Council and also the Local Councillor for Blackthorn and Rectory Farm that “they had been too busy to consult” only demonstrated his complete contempt for the residents.
What also angered residents was his display of petulance and bullying attitude in threatening Cllr Sally Beardsworth with being ‘evicted from the meeting by security staff’.
“What heinous crime had she committed to be threatened to be escorted by security, presumably with the minimum of force from the Guildhall”?
She simply asked why Cllr Mackintosh and his Cabinet colleagues had not taken the opportunity to ask the members of the public and business owners why they were concerned and objecting to the decision that was going to put them out of business.
Most people would have thought it was a reasonable question to ask.
Perhaps there are number of factors that Cllr Mackintosh would ask to be taken into account and mitigation.
Firstly that by not consulting the Northampton Conservatives will not have to resort as they did over claims that they had consulted for example over the proposed sale of the Sekhemka Statue, to telling lies.
and before those Conservatives who I know read my blog start to ‘throw a strop’, the truth is that they did not consult as they claim with the organisations who support the museums and who oppose the sale,
nor did they carry out a full consultation on the museums disposal policy as they claim.
If they had they would have produced the evidence by now.
So cynically no consultation could be seen as an improvement on “no consultation and lying about it!!!
Secondly, by threatening to evict Cllr Beardsworth we have once again seen the true character of the Leader of the Borough Council as being that of a man who clearly has problems in dealing with being challenged and especially by women.
What was strange about his latest tantrum was that I’m not at all sure he can evict an elected Councillor from a Council meeting.
He could of course suspended or end the meeting, the equivalent to his infamous ‘click brrrr’ moment when he hung up on BBC Northampton for them having the temerity to ask him to explain his actions.
It appears therefore this was another case of whoops time for a hissy fit, because Councillor Beardsworth is fully entitled within the Council Constitution to attend all Council meetings and remain until their conclusion.
Of course what this has shown is that Cllr Mackintosh has displayed another deplorable character trait, that of the ‘bully’ which he has displayed far too often and invariably from and within the comparative safety of a council meeting.
Interestingly outside of meetings he scuttles away from such confrontations.
All of this of course overshadows the importance and impact of the decision to close the Blackthorn Workshops that will not only put 100 people out of work but will also deprive local people of the services provided by the businesses in an area Cllr Mackintosh is supposed to represent.
It is nonsense and demonstrates the dysfunctional nature of the Northampton Conservatives to now say that they will, after the event and when facing objections, talk to the businesses, and worse still to talk about relocating them “somewhere in the enterprise zone”.
These are businesses that serve the local community which Cllr Mackintosh should know if he was really ‘working for the residents’ as their local Councillor.
The reality, as those who attended the meeting now know is that the Blackthorn area is a ‘no go area’ and as areas of Rectory Farm and Ecton Brook has been abandoned by the Conservatives and in particular their elected Conservative Councillor.
What is increasingly clear is that the Northampton Conservative have now adopted a policy of refusing to consult with the people of Northampton in the arrogant belief that it doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks because they know best.
It is a policy that will see an increase in people and communities being ignored and ‘bodes ill’ for those areas where major developments are proposed and other major decisions that the Council will need to take over the next 18 months.
Perhaps the reason the Leader of the Council has adopted such a ‘I am the only one who knows best’ attitude is because he hopes to realise his long-held and desperate ambition to be an MP.
In the meantime the people now clearly know what kind of political style and approach the Conservatives have towards them in Northampton.