I returned from Japan last Friday and thus, I have much to catch up on.   I hope to do a blog on this wonderful trip and download some of the many photographs I took.  The inspiration of how Hiroshima was re-built made a powerful impression on me.  The city was flattened in August 1945 and many jumped into the river to lessen the pain of their injuries and escape the fires. Now it has been completely rebuilt and the garden of peace has made a lasting impact on me. Three day delay in a 4 star hotel in Tokyo was welcomed by several of the group but I was pleased I got a seat on a ‘standby’ as I had promised my Chairman, Colin Legg that I would support his Organathon at the Bethesda chapel on 24th April.  Having made the promise, it was important I was there. The outward bound journey took 9  hours plus, but fighting the jet stream going the other way, added three more hours to the return flight.  However, I made it and having collected dogs from kennels, I was off to the Bethesda chapel. Colin Legg and his fellow organist, Phillip produced the most marvellous music & it was sad only a few of the Mold shoppers popped in to enjoy this musical feast.   Council commitments have taken up much time since my return, with a Coalition meeting last Monday.  The main decision was whether to support Arnold Woolley again as leader. However, Arnold’s 10 Page “mid term” statement in which he whinged about the dissidents in his group and how he faced the problem of “the outgoing administration had cleared their desks right down to the bare woodwork!”  I thought 10 pages was rather excessive even to sing his own praises as well as say that he was cross that some people did not agree with him!  The next day, the Labour Leader responded via a three page letter that ended up with informing Arnold the majority of the Labour Group would not support him as Council Leader.  Issue was taken over Arnold’s accuracy about leaving no papers behind.  I understand that Arnold has since apologised for this allegation which was a slur on the former Labour administration. Those for or against supporting Cllr Woolley could be very tight but I will be voting firmly against him, and I will not be alone from my own group. I will be publishing my reasons why I cannot vote for Arnold Woolley once I have informed him of the depth of contempt I feel for him.  It is he that should be facing the Ombudsman for his appalling behaviour towards me and should I win the tribunal, I shall be raising issues with our Standards Committee. I have been seriously distracted from my elected duties by the Ombudsman’s affair. Much of the evidence against me arose from Arnold’s sneaky diary in which he fabricated evidence against me.  The other witness for the Ombudsman is Mrs Susan Lewis who also gave evidence on oath against me. She has now been on full pay and indisposed since 22nd January.  Interestingly, when talking of improvements that are taking place in the Housing portfolio, Arnold makes no mention of the ‘missing director’, only Clare Budden, who now “she is permanently in place, there are signs of a greater pace of improvement”. Arnold Woolley gives no credit whatsoever to those members who assisted with the improving Voids/hard to let property situation.  ‘He states it is an issue we have driven hard.’  A word of praise to the actual members of the Voids Working Party and all Community and Housing committee members; who have worked as a team to progress this disaster area of Housing, would have been helpful.  The hallmark of a good leader is to encourage and praise subordinates.  Aaron Shotton’s claim that Cllr Woolley attempts to forge a bunker mentality and his written comments appear to harden this tribalistic and damaging approach, says it all for me.  I accept that being the Leader is not easy.  Once Cllr Patrick Heesom had been ruled out as leader by the Ombudsman’s complaint made on 15th March 2009 and unbelievably, still not progressed in any way, Arnold Woolley was the only real choice.  My vote will go for Patrick if he decides to stand and with his vast experience, commitment to the Council and capacity to get things done, he is the only choice for me.  Whilst we have been thrown together, both victims of the Ombudsman, I have got to know him very well and Patrick has my full support.

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