Today’s Gazette gives weight to the news that the Progressive Councillor’s in the Borough have spilt from The Alliance and other Independent members. Whilst David Macleans article is a good factual account of events, his use of the term “disarray” may be a bit premature. Sources close to the Alliance have revealed that a change in the structure of the grouping had been on the cards for a long time: Januarys Council meeting scenario merely brining the realignment measures forward.
In political terms this is what we are in fact witnessing: a realignment of Councillors within the existing political structure. What many people conveniently forget is that “The Alliance” as such was never a “Party”, it never had a membership structure and it never stood in wards across the board. It did however, oppose the ruling Labour Party where ever it could, something which the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats have not done. As such it was an “alliance” of Councillors who were opposed to Labours political dominance. Therefore nothing has changed. The Progressives still remain opposed to Waggott and Co’s rough shod approach to how they govern; the Independent’s still remain opposed to the sheer lack of debate at sub committee and Chamber level.
For the record, I have no problem with the Progressives change of emphasis. I do however, look forward to some form of manifesto from them as we approach the local spring elections. I suspect there will not be much difference to the political approach they have taken over the last 3 years.
Unlike the inert Conservative and Liberal Councillors, the Progressive and Independent members share one common bond; that of holding Labour to account. Therefore whether they meet as an alliance every 2 weeks is immaterial as the fight to challenge Labour continues.