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How not to chair a meeting Part 2

Oh my, it just gets better. Ramsgate seems to have a generous sprinkling of sensible people, and as luck would have it, quite a few of them made it to the recent Thanet Local Board meeting. Here we have a measured and reasonable critique of the Chairing of the meeting, the preparedness of the panel, and the quality of their answers. Click on the names for more information, contact details, etc.

Dear Cllr Carter

As head of KCC I am writing to you to complain about various aspects of last night’s meeting of the Thanet Local Board at Chatham House and the persons that come under your management.

Firstly I would like to say that I was appalled and quite frankly astounded at the rudeness, incompetency and patronising manner of the Chair, Cllr Bill Hayton. His conduct was disrespectful to the public, who had made an effort to come and listen and give their views. He spoke down to individuals, although he did this on a selective basis, I notice that when a councillor spoke, the lady in question was not asked to ‘get to her question’. He did not listen to the questions given, hence referring to the wrong person for answer and he did not hold the panel into account when they did not actually answer the question. I am still pondering as to why, when Mr Selby from the audience asked ‘why the planes were taking off over his house?’, Mr Buchanan spoke of being abroad and not being able to go round to Mr Selby’s  house? Does this relate to the question asked? I was also at the KIACC meeting ten days ago and whilst the offer of ‘coming to assess the noise’ was mentioned at that meeting by Mr Buchanan, this was not the question put to him last night.

Is Cllr Hayton fit to Chair? Is he the figure head you want to represent you at a meeting? You, yourself, when a lady from the audience and I spoke to you about Cllr Hayton’s manner said, ‘it should have been comments and questions’, yet I fail to see you hold a KCC member into account for such shoddy Chairing. Might I suggest you take action on this and speak to the person involved. I would suggest for meetings to go ahead in a conducive manner you would need an impartial Chair and not one that is antiquated and obviously not interested in letting the public have their say. I cannot emphasise enough what poor publicity you gave yourself last night through sheer sloppyness.

Secondly, I would like to point out that whilst, Cllr Bayford has ‘only been in the role since May’, a point that he reiterated through the evening, he has had long enough to familiarise himself with all aspects of the job in hand and learn from his various working parties what is going on. The public make the effort to research areas affecting themselves and bring information along, Cllr Bayford shakes his head and asks his ‘officers’. As leader of TDC he is accountable for TDC’s actions, surely if you are attending a public meeting where such areas of discussion are going to come up, you would have had the grace to do your homework and look into the issues being raised at the meeting? Again, lazy research, defensive tactics and another reason that the public is distrustful of TDC’s actions. Let us not forget you had two members of the public willing to help him with information, that he said was not in his possession, that they had managed to get from TDC themselves!

Let us look into the comments made last night. Cllr Bayford, again took time to explain, with some surprise, that most people think that Politicians lie. TDC have had a document in their possession for two weeks regarding night flights and time and time again refuse to acknowledge this. Why then is that document in the hands of the public and certain Councillors are actually admitting that it has been seen by TDC? Why are questions raised by Louise Oldfield, Reading Rooms, Margate altered in the minutes of a meeting she attended, and the criticisms taken out? She had to ask to see a televised recording of the meeting and ask for her comments to be re-instated intact. That is falsifying information. 

Again, Cllr Bayford did not answer questions he was asked. A question clearly stated ‘was independent research into the effects of noise from aircraft on health and education going to go ahead, before the public consultation, so that these statistics could be put to the public, to help allow people to make an educated decision on night flights?’ Cllr Bayford did not answer that question, he talked about the data being give from the airport. Entirely different and totally un-impartial. 

The incompetency of TDC astounds me. They assume that they can do what they like and are not accountable for their actions. The attitude shown to the public last night was rude, patronising and offensive. The meeting was held for the public to address their views, ask valid questions and be given facts. You failed on all counts. Instead you gave the impression that our ideas and concerns were of no importance and the proposal of night flights was a ‘done deal’. There is advice from Mr Twyman, Chair of KIACC suggesting that TDC could be in breach of statutory duties if actions are not taken with regard to issues of the night flight proposal, and yet Cllr Bayford still refers to his officers!

I would like a reply from yourself with regard to action taken about Cllr Hayton’s manner and my comments noted by Cllr Bayford that we are rightly suspicious of his actions. 

Yours Sincerely

Would you like to see the minutes of this meeting?

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