Posted by: liliansloan | February 23, 2011

22 nd February 2011

Fife Council does it again – total lack of understanding of their voters……I wouldn’t want to be either an SNP or Liberal candidate at the next election.  As they say ‘ ther jaket’s on a slack nail’
I know some of you with relatives living in Alan McLure House were at the full Fife Council Emergency meeting today at 2pm. For those of you who weren’t able to attend … here goes……
The administration (SNP and Lib Dems) invoked a procedure that required two thirds of those present to vote to suspend Standing Order 51 (whatever that is). As we know the opposition cannot muster that number of votes when the SNP and LIB Dems vote together and the Conservatives abstain from voting. This is what happened. As the Standing Order had not been suspended, that was the Emergency Meeting of Fife Council finished, before it had even properly started. The SNP and Lib Dem Councillors then walked out of the council chamber to repeated loud shouts of “Shame, Shame” from the public galleries and the opposition Councillors.
Basically they dumped democracy and brought the credibility of our elected local authority into a state of farce. According to the Leader of the Opposition (Alex Rowley) he had asked on several occasions about the validity / legality of their motion and had not been informed by the Chief Executive of Fife Council (Ronnie Hinds) that there was a problem. Cllr Andrew Rodger (Independent) had also queried in advance that the motion was acceptable.
Needless to say everyone (apart  from the  SNP /Lib Dems who had scuttled back to their rooms) was horrified at what had just occurred in front of our eyes. It would appear that the SNP and Lib Dem councillors had planned in advance of the meeting to prevent any debate or discussion on the future of the Fife Council Care Homes after they had pushed through the closure decision on a 6 / 5 majority at the Social Work & Health Committee on 1st Feb.
I had originally thought that we should take a quiet and measured attitude to the actions of these councillors and what this means to our mothers / fathers / relatives in Council-run Care Home, but after the display of arrogance and duplicity I witnessed today, I am thinking that we now need to take a much more pro-active part in exposing this heartless, cruel policy of the current administration, bringing shame upon each individual councillor who voted to close Alan McLure House and the 9 other homes, and making sure they realise the consequences of their actions. This will not be forgotten when the Council elections take place in 2012.
There is a public meeting in the CISWO, North Street, Glenrothes on Thursday (24th February). I think it starts at 7pm. If I hear different I will let you know. If you can attend, please do so, it will hopefully lead to a more combined effort from all those involved, as I believe that it would be ineffective to have the relatives of each Care Home campaigning individually. The Trade Unions representing all the staff who are being made redundant are also involved.
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, I had hoped that these SNP and Lib Dem councillors would have shown some compassion, paid attention to the 77% of people in the Council’s own consultation exercise who wanted Fife Council run homes to continue being available; and would have at least been prepared to debate their decision at the Emergency Council meeting this afternoon. At least I had hoped the Lib Dems would have stood up for their alleged democratic principles and reconsidered their position.
If you have an SNP or a Lib Dem Councillor elected in your Council Ward it might be worthwhile contacting them, but to be honest after watching their performance today, I do not see them straying from their obvious policy of destroying council services and leaving the private companies to make even more profits from our old people in Fife. Some councils in England are reducing Social Work Services to only those that are statutory (ie. have to be provided by law) and closing all other services, leaving the private sector to pick up the profitable bits. I did not think I would see the day that so called “Scottish Nationalists” and Lib. “Democrats” would be looking to right wing England for their policies for us here in Fife!
Sorry about the rant …………. and look out for the STV News ( they had a camera crew at Fife House).
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