Ernie Clark. Hilperton Division, Wiltshire Council.

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Friday April 13, 2018 This is how some councils seem to function.

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Not WC, surely?

My thanks to an Independent councillor on a Yorkshire council for this!




You decide who gets the paid jobs of cabinet, committee chairmen and vice-chairmen. The Fire & Rescue Authority, where someone else pays the bill, is a good carrot too. .

The jobs hand-out is annual, so using the stick at regular group meetings is important.

Shame anyone who steps out of line even a little bit.

Members voicing their own opinions, or daring to question your disciples, must be stamped on quickly. Fear is a powerful tool.

You are at your weakest at the group AGM.

Give a credible performance as the fair leader allocating jobs on merit, otherwise you and your cronies are open to challenge. Some tinkering at the edges, to support the message of your ‘jam tomorrow’ speeches, should do the trick.

Over the four year cycle between elections, follow this pattern:

Year 1 – "Listen and learn".  We fought a successful election. Welcome to new members, you’ve lots to learn. Work hard and you might reach committee chairman or even cabinet. This council is a well-run authority, achieved through sensible steady leadership, not constant change as elsewhere.  Let’s keep a steady hand on the tiller, whilst new members learn the ropes.

Year 2 – "Succession planning".  I won’t be Leader for ever, so am planning my succession. New members are showing talent. To progress you need to understand how the council works – budgets, targets, regional partnerships etc [make it sound complex] so anyone serious should attend cabinet pre-meetings [where you can test loyalty and opinions].

Year 3 – "Jam tomorrow".  We’re half-way though our term of office and need to plan the next election. Some long-serving members will stand down and those demonstrating ability will get your chance soon.

Year 4 – "Don’t rock the boat".  Less than a year to the election. You all need to be busy working in your wards and campaigning. Don’t rock the boat. There will be plenty of change after the election.


This cycle can be repeated for decades. Any complainants are easily labelled as jealous malcontents and ‘not team players’.