A flag of convenience has been hoisted above Hartlepool Civic Centre
You may have missed it but a flag of convenience has been hoisted above the Civic Centre. We now have a Brexit Party/Tory coalition in charge of our local politics.
No electoral mandate or blessing for it, nor any consideration that the far right councillors have jumped ship too.
This chameleon council has seen some councillors change political allegiances up to three times in the last two years, but what is worse is that as we attempt as a town to shrug off the unwanted negative media attention about the town that elected a ‘Monkey Mayor’; a town misrepresented by the Channel 4 series ‘Skint Britain’ and still suffering from the BBC exposé about the lack of police on the ground; a cheap political stunt by our local politicians brings all of that bad press back down on us.
Instead of looking after the council and the people’s interest they have put us back in the spotlight for all the wrong reasons.
Talking about the ‘Monkey Mayor’, Stuart Drummond, he too was elected on an Independent ticket, like those in the council who have just defected.
He also promised free bananas to all schoolchildren, which never materialised during his two-term tenure; a pledge that might be seen as a joke but is far from it given the number of kids in the town who are going hungry and the proliferation of food banks across the town.
Of course bananas are yellow; a colour which has struck all our lives in Hartlepool and across the nation this week.
Firstly with a decision by the council to consult on scrapping the requirement for all Hackney Carriages in the town to be coloured the same.
The council is looking at scrapping the rule making yellow a uniformed colour for licensed taxis in the town allegedly because owners of 45% of the fleet have asked for it.
A reliable source tells me that simply is not true.
One, out of town, taxi mogul has bought himself a fare share of the market and placed the application.
Ninety-five per cent of Hartlepool cabbies object to it and agree with the public that yellow cabs are distinguishable, recognisable and safe.
Getting rid of this distinguished brand colour will be a complete mistake.
The second, of course, was the publication of Operation Yellow Hammer.
Published by order of the House of Commons, which is the Government’s own assessment of the effects of a ‘No Deal’ Brexit and the fall out effect of leaving the EU without a deal.
Given his switch to a ‘No Deal’ party, I have written to the council leader, Shane Moore, to ascertain just how Hartlepool Borough Council is prepared for a ‘No Deal’ Brexit and exactly what provisions have been put in place to protect our citizens.
It really does strike me that jumping on band wagons and running to flags of convenience could very well have consequences.