Stradbroke Parish Council, loyalty and freemasonry
I expected tonight’s Stradbroke Parish Council meeting to be a bit of a rocky ride after the last blog post I wrote was picked up by the local press but the meeting was worse than I expected. Chairman of the Council Nick Stones began reading a statement that complained of my disloyalty by criticising the council in the press.
Apparently councillors are meant to go along with majority decisions and support them in public to demonstrate our loyalty to the council.
I don’t agree with this. Councillors are meant to be loyal to local electors not the council itself. That’s who we are accountable to. That’s who we should be loyal to. That’s who pays for the Council.
Perhaps Stones is confusing the Parish Council with another organisation he is a member of that demands loyalty. The freemasons. According to the Register of Members interests available on Mid Suffolk’s website Stones is one of two members of the council who declares that he is a freemason. The other is local District councillor Stewart Gemmill.
There have long been rumours in Stradbroke that the Parish Council is influenced by masons and suggestions that business is decided at the Lodge and not in meetings.
This impression that business is decided before the meeting is only heightened by the revelation that the Council’s planning committee met over Christmas at the home of the council chairman but failed to even tell other councillors that the meeting was taking place. Legally there should have been a public notice and the meeting should have been open to the public to attend but this did not happen with even other councillors kept in the dark.
Stones complained that basically due to my behaviour the council would have to do things more formally and not be as “friendly”. I am not sure this is such a bad thing. Holding meetings in secret and failing to do things properly is nothing to be proud of and I have certainly not found the Council a friendly place to be!
Stradbroke Parish Council isn’t a social club or an offshoot of the Lodge it is a public authority spending public money. It’s time it started behaving like one.