Friday, 23 March 2012

From obscurity to obscurity in fifteen months?

Will this be the fate of councillor Bob Atwood, Leader of Tunbridge Wells Borough Council, at the May elections?

Elected to the Council in 2008 councillor Atwood was catapulted to local fame as the councillor who replaced Roy Bullock as Leader of the Council following insurrection in the ranks of the controlling Conservative group. 

  • Since then, residents have witnessed Conservative councillors tearing lumps out of each other in the letters column of the local press.

  • Last May, the other seat in his ward was lost sensationally to UKIP.  The Conservative election campaign was abject and this year Councillor Atwood has a fight on his hands to retain his seat.  His cause has not been helped by Osborne's (Osborne Against Pensioners) taxation treatment of the 'grey army'.

  • We have had the unedifying spectacle of the councillor Ransley saga, his deselection and reselection.  A columnist in the local newspaper (The Courier) put it well:

Be it petty squabbles, childish insults, or secret threats, the latest Town Hall scandal is proof that Tunbridge Wells is run by a madhouse.

Quite.  And there is more, but I'll leave it to locals to buy a copy of the paper.

  • We had the Council raise council tax, against the wishes of the central government department in which our splendid MP is a minister.

  • We had the decision to serve notice to quit on the Soup Bowl, which has drawn in the Bishop of Rochester and our MP, and then the decision to defer the notice to evict.

If I was the UKIP candidate in councillor Atwood's ward I would be writing my acceptance speech now.

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