I get called many things, some good, some bad, but in the County Council Chamber, I had a first. After proposing the motion on reaffirming Gloucester County Councils objections to the Javelin Park Incinerator, another councillor stood up and said that I remind him of a “eunuch in a Byzantine court”.
It’s not often I’m lost for words, but I did get what Cllr Tony Blackburn was saying, he was just going around it in a rather bizarre manner. He was highlighting the fact that I’m a relatively new councillor and this issue has been going on a long time. He was suggesting I was making this issue too late to be of any use. But to see some of the senior members of his party look round in bewilderment, you could see the fear about just what he was going to say next. I did disagree with Tony’s assertion, this motion was about highlighting the lack of robust defence in the planning appeal that is currently being heard, so it could not have been raised any earlier, the issue only came up when it became apparent that the GCC defence was not as robust as we expected. Though obviously the debate around the Incinerator itself has been around much longer, this issue was contemporary.
It has ended up int he result that the Chief Executive of Gloucestershire County Council will write to Eric Pickles and highlight that the Planning committee did turn down planning for the incinerator unanimously, and that over 4000 residents wrote in objection. Just in case any of that meaning has been lost by the less than robust defence being put up at the enquiry.
The other interesting feature was seeing the Liberal Democrats, to keep in the theme of bizarre comparisons, could only be described as the Hydra of GCC, have seemingly 3 different heads (leaders) at the same time with 3 separate agendas. It seems they (metaphorically) lopped of Jeremy’s head, only to have him replaced with Colin and Paul, and like any good Greek classic, Jeremy has risen from the ashes and still seems to be as shouty as he every was, With accusations of backdoor coalitions on one hand, then thanking us for working with them in the next breath.
Despite some of the more bizarre things of today, it was a good day for the Labour Party, having got all 4 of our motions through, covering the Incinerator at Javelin Park, rewiring local government, the Badger Cull and getting a scrutiny group for the LEP. Not to mention redirecting the Lib Dem motion, where they wanted to hamstring any future options appraisal on the fire and rescue service to something more useful in directing the incoming Chief Fire Officer to take up the challenges raised in the recent Fire Peer Review.
A Eunuch in a Byzantine court……. that is a first! Who is going to top that?