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Jonathan Levy

Helen Jones Slams Council

Should Mrs Terris Resign?  

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  1. 1. Should Mrs Terris Resign?

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What do you think of the below article? Personally I don't believe Diana Terris should resign as it would appear she is very well thought of and taking the decision to order the report by Mr Turner to be done, is a sign that steps are being made to address the mistakes and ensure they are never made again. But having said that, to a certain degree, she's lucky to still be in the job.

 

Warrington North MP Helen Jones has launched an outspoken attack on the borough council and its chief executive in the wake of the investigation into irregularities in this year's election.

 

She says the report by John Turner, chief executive of the Association of Electoral Administrators is "devastating" and claims it has serious implications for the council and its chief executive.

Ms Jones says she has been approached by Michael Wills, the Minister responsible for elections, who has been "appalled" by the findings of the report. She said: "He has asked to meet me to discuss the matter in detail."

The report has provided useful ammunition for the MP who has been involved in a long-running feud with the council and chief executive Diana Terris.

 

She says the very least Mrs Terris should do is resign the position of returning officer for the elections. Ms Jones said: "The returning officer and the council tried to brush off complaints made by me and by candidates and agents from across the borough and from all political parties. The Turner report shows them to have been wrong to do so.

"Mr Turner upholds all the complaints which I raised."

 

Ms Jones raised the issue in an adjournment debate in Parliament in June. She said there had been serious organisational failings in the management of the elections. The contract for the printing of ballot papers and postal votes had neither been properly negotiated nor properly supervised. "Whoever was responsible should now be subject to disciplinary action," says the MP. "It is clear that the council did not allocate enough resources to run these elections properly, yet ensuring that people have the right to cast their vote is one of their most important duties. They failed to do this and the executive board member responsible should resign.

 

"The report is clear. If changes are not made there are doubts about the ability of this authority to fully comply with the legal requirements of running elections. " Most of all it is clear from the report that the returning officer failed to prepare properly for the elections, failed to ensure that the elections and count were run properly and failed to follow Electoral Commission guidance. "The honourable thing to do would be to resign as returning officer. At the very least she should pay back the fee she received as returning officer, having failed to carry out her duties properly." Mrs Terris - who called for the independent report into the elections herself - has accepted its findings and apologised to candidates who made justified complaints.

 

She has pledged to ensure that every recommendation in the report is acted upon swiftly and properly. She will also ensure the resources are made available to implement the recommendations. Mrs Terris said: "I would, however, like to reassure the voters of Warrington that we have not stood still while this review was underway. We have already made significant progress in a number of the areas identified by Mr Turner.

"For example, steps have been taken to review how electoral services are provided and the level of resource dedicated to this area has already been enhanced. We have developed a detailed project plan and risk assessment for future elections and will be putting in place a thorough training programme for all staff involved in elections. A project board, chaired by me and with senior representation from across the council, will oversee all elections planning and will be ensuring that all appropriate scrutiny is focused on the electoral services function."

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Perhaps there are some folk who would like to control the political infrastructure of the Town and wish to remove any opposition to their dominance - Uncle Joe would be proud! :wink: I guess the NuLabourites will be told to vote on this one! :wink:

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Maybe Helen Jones would like to resign and give up HER 250 thousand pounds of taxpayers cash she robs us of every year. Now that would be a result :lol:

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I really can't see any point in Diana Terris resigning from, or being forced out of, her job because of the election farce.

 

Surely other people were involved with arrangements and procedures in the run up to the elections and of course the legalities of procedure on the on the night anyway.

 

As no changes can be made regarding the person/people who may have been wrongly elected or indeed the votes which were not recounted or polling cards that were not received etc etc etc.... then what's the point.

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While they're at it; perhaps we could have some resignations from this Government, who introduced a flawed sustem of postal voting, open to abuse and refered to by a Judge as the democracy of a "banana republic". :roll: How does the saying go - "hell hath no fury etc" ? :shock::wink:

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Personally speaking, I thought it was an excellent election. :wink::D

 

PS Worth noting that the Borough Solicitor left the Council a few months ago.

 

PPS The count on Thursday night was meticulous...tea, coffee and biscuits were even provided.

 

PPPS The responsibility for running an election is the statutory responsibility of the Returning Officer.

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Paul, do you know the figure Ms. Terris is paid for being the returning officer, over and above her salary?

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Paul, do you know the figure Ms. Terris is paid for being the returning officer, over and above her salary?

 

The figure of ?10,000 has been mentioned...and it is pensionable.

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What were the results of the investigation? All I have read is allegations and assumptions?

 

Basically Mr Turner concluded that:

 

The election was poorly run due to inexperienced staff

 

The election almost didn't happen as the ballot papers didn't turn up until late on the eve of the election

 

The counts for the Borough & Parish elections shouldn't have been counted on the same night, they did and it lead to errors.

 

A Parish Councillor for Poulton South was wrongly elected due to a miscount

 

There should have been a recount for a Parish seat in Stockton Heath

 

Polling cards were not properly delivered

 

180 people didn't get their postal votes and were therefore disenfranchised.

 

Mr Turner did produce a very detailed and excellent report. Not sure how much it all cost....certainly wasn't done for free.

 

Not sure if the average man in the street is too bothered....only about 35% of them took the opportunity to vote.

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What were the results of the investigation? All I have read is allegations and assumptions?

 

Basically Mr Turner concluded that:

 

The election was poorly run due to inexperienced staff

 

The election almost didn't happen as the ballot papers didn't turn up until late on the eve of the election

 

The counts for the Borough & Parish elections shouldn't have been counted on the same night, they did and it lead to errors.

 

A Parish Councillor for Poulton South was wrongly elected due to a miscount

 

There should have been a recount for a Parish seat in Stockton Heath

 

Polling cards were not properly delivered

 

180 people didn't get their postal votes and were therefore disenfranchised.

 

Mr Turner did produce a very detailed and excellent report. Not sure how much it all cost....certainly wasn't done for free.

 

Not sure if the average man in the street is too bothered....only about 35% of them took the opportunity to vote.

 

So all in all it was hardly world changingly bad?

 

I guess the Jones woman is just causing trouble again for nothing.

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What were the results of the investigation? All I have read is allegations and assumptions?

 

Basically Mr Turner concluded that:

 

The election was poorly run due to inexperienced staff......

 

In general or just on that particular night :wink::D:P

 

It's quite amazing how some of the younger people could concentrate on the task of sorting out the boxes of votes into party / borough / parish piles and count them with music blaring down their ears from their ipods. Clever lot :wink:

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Politics - what a murky world it is. Good job those those who choose to swim in this particular cesspool seldom get to interact with us who inhabit the real world :lol:

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Politics - what a murky world it is. Good job those those who choose to swim in this particular cesspool seldom get to interact with us who inhabit the real world :lol:

 

A definition of the "real" world would be helpful. :wink::)

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Doesn't the world of politics come under the heading of "paranoia"?

 

Only for those of limited ability who fear being found wanting or who lack the courage of their convictions.....or who believe that the world would not manage without them. :wink:

 

Actually I rather enjoy politics, it adds yet another facet to my life and will make an interesting chapter in my book. :wink::D

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Misssssssss! :wink:

 

would have to be I guess.....

 

Apart from the 250 grand a year she leeches from the taxpayer, she has no other attractive qualities as far as I can see! :lol:

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She gets paid 1/4 of a million pounds a year Surely not :shock::shock:

 

What exactly does she do for that amount of money (apart form being the returning officer at local elections ) :?:

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The basic salary for an MP is: ?63,291.00

 

add to that her "expenses" claims of: ?148,151.00

(she was 116th out of 645!)

 

and also about ?23,000.00 a year on top as a party whip. So all in all, if the figures I have found on theyworkforyou.com are correct, MISS Jones (I know.... I sound like Rigsby!) "earns" a total of

?234,442.00 a year!

 

By Comparison, Helen Soutworth (who I hear you cry!) "earns " a mere ?196,000.00

 

Now when you weigh up that there are 645 of these buggers taking money off us, you realise how expensive westminster actually is!

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:shock::shock:

 

and Helen Southworth gets ?196,000.00 too.... it's getting worse by the minute :evil:

 

What sort of qualifications do they both have / need to do their jobs :shock:

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