Friday, February 23, 2007

A little known part of Darlington...

Early morning call this morning from Tyne Tees looking for an interview on "People Power". The prompt seems to have been the Independent front page this morning which hightlighted the overturning of the Tesco proposal last year.

By the 10.30am the crew were having second thoughts, but by then they'd interviewed inter alia Stuart Hill (Secretary of the Elected Mayor campaign) and Robin Blair who I understand has recorded comments on the referendum for Sunday's Politics Show.

I had a bit of a stampy-footy, pointing out that the elected Mayor lot have dominated the debate so far, and some counterbalance was necessary (albeit that I would speak in a personal capacity). To be fair to the producers, they weren't looking for direct comment on the mayor thing, but a general piece on residents not settling for simply what's on offer any longer. I got a couple of minutes in front of the camera, and a chance to talk about DBC empowering people through the Tesco consultation last year and the ongoing Let's Get Cracking campaign.

It may or may not be on Tyne Tees news tonight. See if you can spot which bit of Darlington the interview was shot in (the camera angle was chosen very deliberately...)


The Darlington Tory said...

Nick, that is a bit of a fib, everybody knows that the New Labour group have spun the "empowering people", if you lot had your way the developers would already be at work building a Tesco and killing the small business.

As I heard from a senior officer at DBC, the cabinet at a Hallgarth awayday for members and senior officers (these regular get togethers, how much do they cost us tax payers, by the way)the cabinet had decided to push ahead with the Tesco bid.

Any Comment on this?


ian holme said...

DBC empowering people???
sorry Nick, but you must be a having a laugh!

The Tesco consultation was nothing more than a face saving exercise, what else after 3 YEARS of negotiation?

Lets get cracking? fair enough, credit where its due, this iniative has been well received and apears to be working well.
But that alone is hardly earth shattering in terms of open and accountable local democracy, now is it?
Not much to bang on about after labours term in office.

You say you had a little tantrum about the "elected mayor lot dominating the debate"
the point is many supportive of this move are NOT politicians looking to score points over other parties (though some have now taken a step into the political arena), but ordinary people who have come to see the regime in darlington for what it is, an out of touch, unaccountable and cynical bunch, interested only in their own specific power base,at the expense of the borough as a whole.

One of the strongest arguments for the mayour is that he would be elected by the whole borough, and accountable to the whole borough.

my rant over!

Should be good telly on sunday.....

Ian White said...

Just seen you "fame at last" and no did not recognise where was behind you.

Darlington Councillor said...

Dave - I've heard the hoary old myth that somehow the Cabinet were secretly in favour of the Tesco deal at a meeting with officers, but then pretended to be neutral. I can categorically deny it - the Cabinet took the same line privately as it did in public which was that we wanted to listen to the people of Darlington before taking a decision, which is of course what we did.

Ian - we've talked about Tesco many times before here and on the Liar, and I'll guess we'll have to agree to disagree. The point you make about accountability is interesting - I feel pretty accountable at the moment, and the Council leadership is accountable to the whole Borough, who will have a chance in May to vote to keep us in or chuck us out. You don't need to put a huge amount of power in the hands of one man (and it usually is a man) to get accountable local government.

I don't like getting personal when discussing politics, so I shall keep my opinions as to what is motivating the likes of Stuart Hill and Clive Owen to myself. Suffice it to say that their motives aren't as spotless as some might imagine.

I'm looking forward to Sunday too - I hear they're interviewing a knowledgable expert on Darlington's affairs live from the Mima on Teesside.... :)

As for the secret location Ian - well as I was working at Middlesbrough County Court today, the interview took place outside there. They tried to select a neutral camera shot which could have taken in Darlington. As there is nowhere in Middlesbrough which is attractive as anywhere in Darlington, of course they failed!

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