Monday, 18 June 2012

Councillor slams colleague's naming on Jubilee plaque
"Smacks of arrogance and shallow self-promotion"

An Independent Boston Borough Councillor has been highly critical of a decision to include the name of a portfolio holder alongside the Mayor on the plaque inscribed to mark the switching on of the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee fountain.
The fountain was formally switched on a fortnight ago in a joint ceremony by Boston’s Mayor, Councillor Colin Brotherton, and the borough portfolio holder for leisure, Councillor Yvonne Gunter, before being removed days later after an attack by vandals.
In an e-mail to Boston Eye, Councillor Brian Rush writes:
Let me first state that I wholeheartedly agree that the wanton vandalism that destroyed the fountain in the town park was nothing less than disgraceful. Having said that, given the description of the suspects, it could be suggested that it was a pretty fragile construction, hardly the kind of thing one would expect in a local park, where it would be likely to tempt a few paddlers, if the weather were ever to warm up! The fact that it succumbed so easily, begs the question of its suitability for such a location, and as such the outcome may have well have had far more serious implications.
 Unfortunately however, the unsavoury incident did highlight one worrying little detail, spotted in the Look North news-clip, which as far as I am aware, is a diversion from the norm.
Since when did we begin to include Portfolio Holders on ceremonial Mayoral plates?Who allowed, or thought it right and proper, to engrave for posterity, the details of Councillor Ms Yvonne Gunter on the commemorative plaque? This may seem only a small point but, I have no problem with elected members using their position and publicity to promote or defend important constituent or electorate matters, but arrogance such as this, smacks only of shallow self promotion.
The question might also be rightly asked as to, why in fact Councillor Gunter was ‘put forward’ as the spokesman for BTAC, when in fact it should have been Chairman of this ‘Town’ Parish Council, Councillor  Mike Gilbert and/or Vice Chair Stephen Woodliffe, whose committee  provided the funds. Maybe these two little mild manners were trampled in the crush for camera.
The fact of the matter is that - even if some might question the whys and wherefores of the role of Mayor - until something changes, our Mayor is Boston Borough Council’s official ceremonial representative. The role in this case should therefore be afforded the same level of respect and individuality as any other dignitary invited to perform an official duty. This particular project was also a dedication to Queen Elizabeth’s Diamond Jubilee; therefore these two titles and descriptions are all that deserve to have been recorded.
Why on earth councillors or officers felt it necessary to include any other is beyond me, and a clear explanation should be provided. Unless of course we are unaware of some special reason or effort that Councillor Ms. Gunter considers herself deserving of such a Mention in Despatches.
What gives her the right to an eternal place in history, or is it a sad personal need to establish some longed for credibility! I think I recall, during her previous stint as a Councillor, her constant, and annoying gabbling about some fluffy scheme or other, and back then seemed to turn up at every available photoshoot.
Maybe the leader should relieve himself of his ‘Media Responsibility’ and ‘Give it to Gunter.’ 
I jest! I jest!
He might do well to recognise when any of his members begin acting like the previous bunch of ‘megalomaniac pantomime characters’ they replaced. Remember what happened to them!
Regular readers of Boston Eye will recall that we raised an eyebrow at the time of the announcement of the decision to make the ceremony a joint event – and also questioned the appropriateness of giving the role to the portfolio holder for leisure when both the Jubilee garden and the fountain were funded by Boston Town Area Committee - for reasons that are not quite clear. This should, as Councillor Rush observes, have meant that the BTAC Chairman Councillor Mike Gilbert ought to have been the one to accompany the mayor – if any accompaniment was thought necessary!
In terms of photographs – we again mentioned at an early stage in the life of the current council, that Councillor Gunter was far and away the leader when it came to photos in the Boston Bulletin.
Out of interest, we did a quick count, and note that since the council came to power, she has since been photographed in every bulletin except one – a total of 23 pictures in  13 issues.

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