Green perspectives on Stockwood and Bristol. Mostly.

Saturday, 25 September 2010

Prejudicial Interests

It's increasingly likely that that the PROWG committee may (understandably) duck out of making the decision on whether to accept or refuse the inspector's recommendation to register Ashton Vale as a Town Green, and instead refer it to full council so that it can be voted on there.
If this should happen, any councillors who have already expressed an opinion on the overriding need - or otherwise - for a stadium will obviously have to abstain.  Neil Harrison, a member of the PROWG committee, had the good sense to anticipate this, and explained why on his blog in August

So, for example, Cllr Simon Cook would have to abstain because he has already made statements both in support of the new stadium and against the Town Green recommendation. On the other side, Tess Green would be unable to vote because she's already welcomed the judgement of the independent inspector. Neither would go to the decision making meeting with an open mind.
The OTIB ("One Team In Bristol") City fans' web site has suddenly closed down access for new subscribers - but not before publishing posts revealing other councillors' prejudicial views on the Town Green.

For instance, our own Stockwood councillor David Morris seems to have ruled himself out of any vote by making his (and, apparently, his party's) views known to the City fan who posted this message on OTIB:
"Hello i am a first timer so please go easy,i have read on the forum about people writing to there councillors and mp without little feed back. I have written to Councillor Morris to voice my concerns about Ashton vale like the club have asked us to expecting nothing back when today i had a knock on my front door and this guy introduced imself as councillor morris and he would like to talk about Ashton vale ,he said that he was in total agreement that bristol city should have a new stadium and he and alot of his other councillors will be voting in favour off our new stadium , the only time i will be voting blue is in the next elections if Mr morris stands"

I have no idea whether David Morris reads this blog; he and Jay Jethwa always seem reluctant to risk any dialogue in public on local issues, so there's never been any comment from either of them to my posts. If he does get the opportunity to vote on what is over-simplistically described in the above post as a 'stadium v town green' decision, then he must first explain this OTIB post and reveal who 'a lot of his other councillors' are.

I'm sure David wouldn't want his Conservative colleagues to vote against accepting the Town Green recommendation, while pretending that they have no predetermined views and would be influenced only by the evidence.


Anonymous said...

Referring it to a council wide vote suggests that the council do not understand the legality of what they are doing or are intending to act illegally.

This is going to end up messy with councillors committing misfeasance in public office to get a stadium - ignoring the legal right of the applicants to favour the commercial interests of BCFC.

The Bristol Blogger said...

So many councillors have made pro-stadium comments they'll be no-one there, starting with the leaderships of the Cons, Dems and Labs.

PROWG is a statutory committee. Can their business be heard by Full Council?

Planning is statutory too. Can planning applications be heard by Full Council? Has it ever happened?

Anonymous said...

The purpose of the committee is to consider the Inspector's report and approve it unless it is:

a) obviously wrong or
b) the result of fraud.

There is no reason why the full council can't do this, but why would they. It is a rubber stamp job.

The reason why we have laws is so that the rich and powerful cannot ignore the rights of the poor and the weak.

If the council decide on mass to ignore the law, this could be career ending. A mass disqualification of councillors on a scale not seen since militant in Liverpool.

If will also certainly result in Judicial Review of the council's actions, perhaps one of the easiest Judicial Reviews possible.


Stockwood Pete said...

"There is no reason why the full council can't do this, but why would they. It is a rubber stamp job. "

Maybe they don't want to put a small group of councillors in a position where they must take full responsibility for an unpopular decision? Maybe they learned from the backlash after the Sainsburys decision.

The Bristol Blogger said...

Another exciting Saturday night: I've checked and yes the Full Council could hear it.

But as Harry says why?

Perhaps they collectively want to prostrate themselves at the feet the glorious egomaniac tax exile as recompense?

And if they're that concerned about a brutal backlash, they should be asking themselves why they support these people so fulsomely.

GE said...

Yes they must be terrified and, whichever way they jump, would prefer to spread the backlash round 70 rather than 7.

frantic buck passing said...

It’s almost a version of the Prisoners’ Dilemma updated for bureaucrats isn’t it?

If councillors were wise, every single one would chance to find a prior statement on the issue and withdraw, thus leaving the council chamber completely empty on D(readful) Day.

Paul/Bemmy Down said...

Councillors Cook and Hopkins won't be able to take part because they said "live" on TV that they wanted an arena built on the site. I remember it well because it was the same day as they approved the Core Strategy, promising to protect the Green Belt!

Anonymous said...

You can support the recommendations to give the fields at Ashton Vale Town Green Status by signing this epetition.

sacredspring said...

Look forward to the full council meeting-could be as exciting as the one with the Hooters application.
Many councillor's may cry off or get a sick note though can't blame them not wanting the usual avalanche of abuse from disgruntled fans.

Deja vu said...

But the area doesn’t look like a town green to me…

Mockmayoress said...

"One Team In Bristol"


Not that they like to be prejudiced or controversial or anything!

World FuCup said...

No. Wouldn't want to pick a fight or nuthin'.