17 December 2005

When newsmakers talk, they talk to me!

I'm going to award myself a pat on the back and a fish supper for this: a man purporting not to be related to the new leader of South Ayrshire Council, despite having the same first name, surname and enclosing some South Ayrshire Council-related press releases and a link to Councillor MacDonald's website - www.gibsontmacdonald.co.uk - has been in contact with me to introduce himself an some of his policies (OK, it's not quite the same as getting an exclusive interview with George Bush the such like, but for a site that's less than a month old, I'm chalking this up as an early success).

I think it's fair to say that the good Councillor has decided to swig from a poisoned chalice: his administration has pledged to clear the Council's projected £15million defecit. This means that it's curtains for the Council's Environment and Infrastructure Department, which according to projections, had it not been broken up by the Council on Friday, would have overspent by £1.66 million.

Of course, the reality is that he needs the voters of North Carrick and Maybole East to be favourable to him by returning a Tory in February. If they vote Labour, then he's in real trouble (they're back to the 15-15 stalemate and a Labour Provost holding the casting vote). If they vote for someone else entirely then he might just get away with it (though there will have to be concessions to the new Councillor).

But what's really surprising is that the LibDems haven't put a link to the By-Election (due on 2 February, and bound to get ugly) on their website. Normally when a sitting Councillor dies, they announce the impending vote before rigor mortis has set in. Perhaps they don't quite know how to deal with a resignation like Andy Hill's?

P.S. The good Councillor made the time to describe this humble site as 'very neat and crisp'. Say what you like about the Tories (and I frequently do), they can be charming.

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