Mayor 'Mare on BBC 2
Torbay Council's elected Executive Mayor made a complete buffoon of himself on national television last Friday evening. He described the resort as a 'parking paradise' which will come as a surprise to residents and visitors to the bay alike.
The NCP contract and the 'zest' of the parking attendants has alienated many. Further, the car parking charges are significantly higher than neighbouring boroughs and it certainly influences my shopping and leisure choices. Quite often I'll go to Ness Beach in Shaldon (Teignbridge) than to more local choices like the lovely Broadsands / Elberry Cove combination because of this factor.
A wider issue pertains to the mayor's antics however. His quest for endless media attention and photo-opportunities mean he's operating more like a ceremonial mayor, not the sole executive decision maker of the authority. Whilst aspects of the NCP contract and the wider issue of car park charges do need addressing, one might ask whether the mayor himself is justifying his near £60,000 salary !
Only a couple of weeks ago he attended an official opening of an extension to my workplace. Well Nick, you 'achieved' a nice photo in the paper and some inane quotes were attributed to you. But, Mr Bye that engagement was surely the job of the current Chairman (sic) of Torbay Council, who does much of the work formerly done by ceremonial mayors !
Maybe Nick you might belatedly wrestle with your own under-funding of adult social care which is threatening the closure of local facilities, rather than embarking on more ego stroking media appearances. The LD warned of the shortfall at the budget meeting and since then your error is being compounded by inaction.
Some time ago a LD councillor had to apologise to the mayor for calling him a buffoon. As an activist, rather than councillor, I see no reason to be quite so circumspect [with regard to this matter at least]!