Wednesday, 5 August 2009

WHERE DID YOU GET THAT HAT?


On Saturday I was supporting the QEQM Hospital League of Friends Summer Fair at Margate. Several of my fellow Labour councillors were there, John Watkins, Harry Scobie and Kerry Harker pictured here working on the bottle stall. Also present was Steve Ladyman MP and there were far more people here than at the Viking event I covered yesterday.

Margate Mayor Ted Watt-Ruffell is pictured with his attendant at the Broadstairs Inner Wheel stall. Note they are bothing wearing Panama hats!

Ted is a councillor for Dane Valley ward. His fellow ward councillor is Stephen Broadhurst. Cllr. Broadhurst has featured in the local newspapers for his poor attendance record, absence of work for the community and continuing residence in Panama. His refusal to answer reporters reasonable questions is unacceptable, and should be addressed by the Conservative Chief Whip, who I understand to be Ted Watt-Ruffell. Stephen Broadhurst employs Ted Watt-Ruffell for his day job I understand.
So if Ted disciplines Stephen as a Councillor, what will Ted's employer Stephen think? It looks like an impossible situation for Ted, so why did the Conservative group elect him as Chief Whip two months ago when they knew already there was a problem with Cllr. Broadhurst's attendance and that Cllr. Watt-Ruffell was employed by him? This is a messy situation and I know Thanet Labour leader Clive Hart has asked Thanet Conservative Leader Sandy Ezekiel to look into Cllr. Broadhurst's circumstances.

Was the Panama hat brought over the Atlantic by Stephen to say thanks to Ted for covering for his prolonged absences? I prefer to think it is like the song Tie A Yellow Ribbon Round the Old Oak Tree, and that Ted was wearing the hat as an act of solidarity with his fellow Conservative/ward councillor/company employee/Margate Charter Trustee/whipee (they do have many and complicated relationships don't they?). Perhaps we will see other Thanet Conservatives wearing Panama hats throughout the summer to acknowledge the ongoing absence of Cllr. Broadhurst, and show their solidarity with him.

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