Cllr Richard Kemp, leader of the Lib Dems in local government, has challenged Tories to take action on their new pledge to push for more mayors in English cities.
We covered this tangentially whilst discussing lovebombing last week, when we also linked to Millennium Elephant’s masterful dismissal of the entire policy:
The proposal to increase accountability will actually DILUTE it; the promise to return power to people will really move power IN to a new centre that is less representative and more remote; the plan to free local government from central government control will, in reality, SHACKLE local councils even further.
Cllr Kemp has slightly more gravitas than Millennium – and a really valid point, which is if the Tories really wanted more mayors, why haven’t they taken steps to achieve it already?
Cllr Kemp says: “In Coventry you have sufficient votes to get a resolution through the council committing the council to hold an immediate referendum on the question of whether or not there should be an elected Mayor for Coventry.
“There is no need to wait for Tory legislation when you could, in fact, do it now.
“In Leeds and Birmingham you do not have sufficient votes to get a resolution through the council but you do share control in both those cities.”
There has been much cooing at LDV Towers over three photos released through Nick Clegg’s leadership site http://www.nickclegg.com.
To spread the cooing to a grateful nation, here’s the link.
Our alert readers will have noticed we had another outage this morning when our site was unavailable for a number of hours.
The reason for this was a traffic spike – and despite the jokes, it could well have been because the van-maker LDV was in the news, and we’re a top-ten search result for the term LDV.
Our current hosting arrangements mean we share a computer with several other websites. When we get a big traffic spike, our performance affects the other users of the computer, and our host sometimes turns us off to make sure the other websites are not unfairly affected. Although this is frustrating for us, it’s generally a Good Thing that web hosts make sure all their users get what they pay for.
We have been looking at our financial position for the past few months, and we think we can just about afford to move onto a different hosting plan – called a Virtual Private Server – where we don’t share facilities with other websites. This will mean that when the site is under heavy load, it will slow down, but hopefully never again fall over permanently. It does, of course, cost more, and there will be a learning curve for our technical staff (aka Ryan) as the new hosting arrangement will work in a slightly different way.
There will also be planned outage, with a warning beforehand, whilst the changes are made.
One further point – the end of Lib Dem Voice’s financial year comes at the end of February, and once this is passed and I’ve knocked our accounts into a bit of shape, I’ll publish the income and expenditure summaries in the members’ forum.
Welcome to catchup, featuring only the crumbliest, flakiest posts from the last week, with no Flake wrappers stopping up the plug.
Most read this week: Mark Pack using David Cameron’s own words to prove that David Cameron is cheap, lurching to the left, and not sensible; yet another post about bloody Derek Draper; another wind-up post from the monstrously offensive Laurence Boyce; an excellent piece from Stephen defending Clegg’s piece about fathers in the recession and still more comments on “Just Exactly How Wrong Was Chris Huhne?”
Your comments this week were recorded in great numbers on several of the most read threads (that’s why so many people kept refreshing them, after all) and also “Could the Lib Dems eclipse Labour?” and my response to being lovebombed by Iain Dale.
This week, we also had some excellent posts on the Voice from guest writers, including Colin Lloyd responding to a rather one-sided view of the party evidenced by the Liberator collective (who just last week told us about their new edition); Bernard Salmon gave us his perspective on events North of the Border; and I shoe-horned in a photo of my roof into a post about energy efficiency.
Our Conference coverage began in earnest this week as Lynne Featherstone responded enthusiastically to the news that Howard Dean will be addressing conference and we brought you a whole slew of other exciting conference related news including the LDV fringe at Harrogate, two trips to Birmingham, and an opportunity to sponsor LDV in Bournemouth.
We gave you all the latest about our housing proposals; we got on the extranet; we posted about the Lord Ashcroft investigation within minutes of hearing about it from Sky News; and Mike Tuffrey AM explained why James Cleverly is wrong.
Vince Cable is bewildered, for now, then angry
Nick Clegg is seeing opportunities for stay-at-home dads NB this was not a gaffe
Norman Baker was trenchant on expenses abuses
And Vince (again!) was trapped in a time warp of tribal politics.
In our Members only Forum
Some of the top discussion topics this week:
Who should be made new Lib Dem peers?
Chris Huhne on Geert Wilders
Vote for Melanie Phillips
Taking photographs in public