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South Tyneside Independents probed over Electoral Commission

with 10 comments

Complaint asked to be investigated.

After years of ignoring my own questions and pleas over registration with The Electoral Commission, I can reveal that another local blogger, The Fat Councillor, who writes an amusing blog entitled Ahmed’s Wise Words, has decided to take matters into his own hands and write to The Electoral Commission asking them to investigate the status of the South Tyneside Independent Alliance group of councillors.

Way back in September 2008 I published this selection from hundreds of similar independent councillor groups listed at The Electoral Commission’s website:

  • Ashford Independents
  • Association of Bedford Citizens
  • Barnsley Independent Group
  • Billingham Independent Association
  • Chigwell Residents
  • Derwentside Independents
  • East Cleveland Independents
  • Independents of North Yorkshire
  • Lincoln Independent Alliance
  • Morecambe Bay Independents
  • Residents Association of London
  • Stoke on Trent Independent Group
  • South Tyneside Progressives
  • Teesdale Independent Association
  • Thornaby Independent Association
  • West Suffolk Independent Alliance

I asked then why The South Tyneside Independent Alliance had not registered themselves with the Commission, like those above, and a few days later I wrote this email to every one of the group of South Tyneside councillors:

Dear Councillors,

there are many many independent non aligned non political groups of councillors operating in councils throughout England and Wales, as revealed in this post in my blog.

I am as keen as you are for more openness and accountability in local government, and believe that transparency is a great asset to local representatives, the public deserves access to information that helps to inform and educate and give a clearer insight to the workings and machinations of local councils and councillors.

I am therefore disappointed that so far the South Tyneside Independents have not decided to register themselves with the Electoral Commission, the appropriate body that regulates and guides much of our democratic process.

Can you explain why this is so? Better still after more than two years of campaigning, can the South Tyneside Independent group of councillors give a firm commitment to registration with the Electoral Commission and let us know when the first set of accounts will be lodged with the Electoral Commission, as has previously been accomplished by the South Tyneside Progressives?

Needless to say, not a single one of them had the courtesy to reply to the email, I was daft enough to leave the matter alone in the unwise hope that perhaps one of their opponents might take the matter up, I really ought to have pressed harder myself. I’m glad now that someone else has seen the necessity for a clear statement on the status of this party and had the courage to decide to write to the Electoral Commission asking them for a statement on their views of the South Tyneside Independent Alliance, I await the publishing of their reply with much interest.

The Fat Councillor quoting from the Independents’ own literature says:

“How then, does South Tyneside Council perform when it comes to being open and transparent when it comes to telling the public what it has been up to on their behalf?” It would appear that the Independent Alliance are somewhat less keen to let the electorate know who is funding them, amongst other things.

More power to his elbow!

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Written by curly

February 20, 2010 at 11:25 am

10 Responses

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  1. Thank you for helping to highlight this issue, Curly. It is something that needs to be dealt with. I would ask all of your readers to contact the Independent Alliance councillors listed in my blog to ask them for an explanation.

    At some point, they might actually start to take notice, particularly if they think that they might lose votes.

    The Fat Councillor

    February 20, 2010 at 12:02 pm

  2. Curly
    lets look at the facts, they have a Leader,Deputy Leader, Group Secretary, pay a monthly subs @ £10.00
    have to vote en bloc in the Council chamber, have some crazy loose policies or do they?
    South Shields based Party and about time they admitted it.
    News on the wards is that Waddle & White have actually dug there own hole when they attacked Harrison as he runs the place, so waddle has just over a year and White a little longer.

    Truly Independent

    February 20, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    • Does this mean that you support the notion that they ought to be registered with the Electoral Commission just like hundreds of other small independent groups of councillors nationwide?


      February 20, 2010 at 9:16 pm

  3. curly everybody knows harrison is a thing of the past. The three Ws on here are known as Waddle White and the Wanker. Soon to be W W and P. His downfall is his greed, and wanting to drink with the so called big boys. They only wanted what he could tell them, another pathetic malcolm victim. Sad so sad little man.


    February 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm

    • I am sorry to say Nick that your comments reflect fully the current mood within the ranks of the Independent Alliance councillors and their supporters, they are far more interested in indulging in petty personal attacks upon former colleagues than they are in opening themselves up to public scrutiny and accountability. Would you be kind enough to address the issue of why the Alliance has not followed every other political party in South Tyneside by registering themselves with the Electoral Commission and making their accounts available for public inspection?


      February 20, 2010 at 9:15 pm

  4. Well, it looks like Cllr Khan has taken offence to his recent publicity. He is now threatening to use children in order to attack Cllr David Potts. Incredible behaviour.

    The Fat Councillor

    February 20, 2010 at 9:52 pm

  5. I have never been part of this alliance, so what they choose to do is up to them. but mr harrison for three years put leaflets through our doors stating among other things ,we will not take freebies or go on jollys paid for by the the public. he has, he has also been heard to say over a pint or ten he will take what he can get. he went back on the word he gave us when we trusted him enough to vote for him. this has nothing to do with any alliance but all to do with harrison. no trust no vote, the people of this ward are no fools.


    February 21, 2010 at 12:09 am

    • Nick, this post/thread is all about the Independent Alliance and their apparent unwillingness to register themselves with The Electoral Commission, it is not about Cllr. Steve Harrison, If you have a legitimate view on the matter then please state it. If you don’t, then please find another place to express your opinions on Cllr. Harrison (or at least wait until I offer a post specifically related to him).


      February 21, 2010 at 1:12 am

  6. Curly, who is this Fat Councillor? I read the Ahmed’s wise words blog, it’s pretty damn right an eye opener!!

    Skinny councillor

    February 21, 2010 at 2:19 am

  7. Curly,
    I do fully support the notion that the Indy Alliance should register their affairs with the The Electoral Commission.
    As for disparaging comments about Steve Harrison or anybody else i think pr nick is on the wrong website,maybe he should try MR MONKEY OR A CHANCE FOR CHANGE.

    Truly Independent

    February 21, 2010 at 2:46 am

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