Friday, 1 May 2009


It is interesting to read other bloggers take on the change of Labour Leader at Thanet District Council. I am not alone in wishing Richard Nicholson (pictured) would have continued in another role. If he wants a break then he has richly earnt it. He is a hard worker who takes a brief to pieces with his analysis. He also is someone who gets out and delivers leaflets and newsletters and campaigns on the doorstep. After 10 years he is entitled to a break, but I hope in time he will take on more responsibility again.

Tony Flaig wonders what a "comradely campaign" means. Well it means that both candidates campaigned by talking only to their electors, fellow Labour councillors. They did not try and play out a campaign in the media. They did not go around offering jobs, posts or making other promises. They talked about policy, and what they thought they could bring to the role of Leader. They both wanted to work with each other in leading positions, whatever the outcome of the election result. I have been involved in many election campaigns over the years, and this was one of the most professional, pleasant and respectful I can recall. I know it is a source of note to Council officers how united the Labour group is. One described to me how "tight" we are. Let's not make comparisons!
The other comment that surprised me was the ignorant suggestion (smear?) that there had been a "coup" by Simon Moores. I thought Simon was trying to not be political whilst the elections were on. It was a surprise to me and my Labour colleagues that Richard chose to stand down, but entirely his choice as his statement shows, and he concludes with the excellent promise that he will be back:
"I have decided not to stand again as Leader of the Labour Group this year. I have now had the privilege of serving as the group leader for 10 years and decided a while ago to take a break from the frontline.

In these 10 years I have, with the help of others, achieved what I think are several notable projects for Thanet. Including especially the bringing of the Thanet Campus to the area, the Innovation Centre at Westwood and of course Westwood Cross shopping area.

Other policies of note have been the 106 agreement controlling Manston Airport operations and the many other regeneration projects devised during my time as Leader of the Council.

However much satisfaction has also come from helping the many local residents, especially in the Newington Ward where I now serve. I will of course still be doing this job for them still and much remains to be done. Also I will still be active within Thanet Council and on the various committees I serve on. Of course I will remain an active member of the Labour Group and will give advice whenever it is sought.

I can also say that since being elected for the first time in 1995 I have served with many fine colleagues and now only two others from that time remain, however many other fine councillors have arrived and I thank all who have helped and supported me over my time as group leader.

I look to a more active role after this break."

Leader of the Labour Group Elect and current Deputy Leader Clive Hart has had the chance to learn from Richard Nicholson whilst working with him. He paid tribute to Richard:

"I would like to pay tribute to Cllr. Richard Nicholson who has decided to stand down as our leader. Richard has been a consummate leader of the Labour group in Thanet for the past decade and supporting him as deputy leader has been an honour, a privilage and a practical education in local leadership second to none. It truly is very reassuring to know that I have a man of Cllr. Nicholson's calibre and experience to call on for advice in the future".

Clive Hart went on to say:

"This really is a very challenging time for the Labour Party but I am heartened to know from personal experience as a councillor over the past six years, that in Thanet, all our elected representatives, at every level, are fully committed to their roles and to the residents they serve. The one thing that truly sets our councillors apart from those of the other political parties is their total commitment to local people and the real issues that affect their daily lives.
It is an honour and a privilege to lead a group of Thanet councillors so ‘well rooted’ in their local communities across our island”.
UPDATE 1.5.09 21.15 Mike Harrison has just posted (last paragraph) to confirm Simon Moores scurrilousness.

1 comment:

  1. this is a caes of out of the frying pan into the fat i think with the labor group at leastrichard had brains when he got up and spoke not hot air like the new leader