Wirral Council has just issued a “Statement of Persons Nominated” for the local elections to be held on 22nd May and therefore it was Verity’s task to wade through the nominations looking for any interesting developments.
Whilst there was wry amusement to be had that Rock Ferry Green Party candidate Karl Cumings was proposed by the appropriately named Ivy Woods a more interesting revelation was the absence of Cllr Simon Mountney’s nomination for the Saughall Massie ward.
Of course we all know Cllr.Mountney for being the Councillor who put his reputation on the line to valiantly support whistleblower Martin Morton (indeed we understand that he had to face some opposition within his own party for his stance let alone from the opposition benches.)
Now we don’t know Cllr.Mountney’s reason for withdrawing from the Town Hall cesspit but we’d like to wish him well in his future endeavours and if he’d like to give us the lowdown on what went on behind the scenes we can be contacted at email@example.com
And so we now find ourselves in the middle of Purdah – the pre-election period between an announced election and the final election results. Purdah in local government ends at the annual meeting of the council in the new municipal year. For local elections, the activities of local authorities in the pre-election period are governed by the Code of recommended practice on local authority publicity, which is issued as part of the provisions of the Local Government Act 1986 which read :
Elections, referendums and petitions
41. The period between the notice of an election and the election itself should preclude proactive publicity in all its forms of candidates and other politicians involved directly in the election. Publicity should not deal with controversial issues or report views, proposals or recommendations in such a way that identifies them with individual members or groups of members. However, it is acceptable for the authority to respond in appropriate circumstances to events and legitimate service enquiries provided that their answers are factual and not party political. Members holding key political or civic positions should be able to comment in an emergency or where there is a genuine need for a member level response to an important event outside the authority’s control. Proactive events arranged in this period should not involve members likely to be standing for election
So all and all this is an interesting time on the local political scene as we note @frankfieldteam suddenly return to Twitter after a 10 month hiatus.In other words an eager to please intern gets to tweet on behalf of St.Frank during Purdah .
However we note the following tweet posted on April 3rd by @frankfieldteam which rather gives the game away has since been deleted:
“Pleased to announce we are reopening our Twitter account. Much more to follow over the coming days and weeks…”
So over the “coming days and weeks” we can expect more opportunistic and cynical pics from a local MP who makes Esther McVague appear to be a rank amateur when it comes to “realpolitik”.
Of course those who follow local politics (and unfortunately for democracy there appears to be very few on Wirral ) something similar happened at the last local elections when St.Frank’s bezzy Cllr.Jean Stapleton was under threat in the local elections from Pat Cleary from the Green Party.
And so it would appear that this time that Brian Kenny will be the fortunate beneficiary of “The Frank Field Effect”.
Finally we’d like to draw your attention (geddit?) to the fact that Purdah comes from the Persian word “pardeh” meaning “curtains”, referring to the status of women hidden from the world of men.
All we can say is that we wish it was “curtains” for some prominent local politicians who are not facing re-election this time round and not the likes of Councillor Mountney……..