Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Alan Jones, the former Lord Mayor of Stoke-on-Trent, sensationally quits the Labour Party!

Alan Jones was a long serving member of the Labour Party for over three decades and held most of the important roles within the City Authority.

Mr. Jones is considered to be a larger than life character, who brought much of the Labour vote out for most of his time within the Council chamber.

The Oracle has been informed by 'sources' that Mr. Jones has become very 'disillusioned' by the current Labour Group led by Joy Garner and her insistence to form a coalition with the Conservatives.

Mr. Jones has made it clear that his entire family has decided to leave the Labour Party in protest at the coalition, the BSF school programme and the way that care homes have been closed in the City.

Mr. Jones (brought into the party by Bil Austin) is one of the senior Councillors who as Deputy leader of the Council oversaw the cultural quarter and the aftermath that came from it. Mr. Jones is adamant that the City moved forward with world class facilities that have yet to be matched by elected Mayors since he left the Council.

Alan Jones, former Deputy Leader and Lord Mayor currently serves in various community positions around the City after giving up his seat on the local PCT.

The Oracle pays tribute to a man who selflessly served his Party and his community and who feels genuinely disturbed that a lifetime of solid Labour unity is being wasted by those presently clinging to power who's only selfless aim is to further their own careers at the expense of those around them.

You couldn't clean Alan's shoes if you tried. Make sure you hold all of his positions before you attempt to (that goes for criticism of him).

The Oracle has spoken.


margaret said...

For gods sake, when is this shower of shite going to get the message?

nicky said...

Good for him for making a stand.

Labour are doomed locallly due to their outrageous decisions;
"Mr. Jones has made it clear that his entire family has decided to leave the Labour Party in protest at the coalition, the BSF school programme and the way that care homes have been closed in the City."
That sums it up nicely.

Labour have lost consistent labour voters and labour party members, including loyal and long serving ones. And they so deserve to and they are losing the best people and keeping the sh*te ones. If they don't about turn on their policies there will be nobody left and nobody voting for them.

This is why we have and need independent councillors in SOT.

Town Hall Observer said...

Alan Jones was one of those central to the failed and discredited administration of Barry Stockley which did it's best to wreck the city and local Labour party. Remember the debacle of Worldgate, Britannia Stadium, the Cultural Quarter etc?

His departure will not be mourned by the vast majority of local Labour members whose sentiment might well be good riddance.

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

What a tragedy(!) I'm sure Golden Brown and Joy Garner are terribly worried now. He was no bloody use anyway! Another former freeloader councillor after a bit of publicity. Labour has failed precisely because of people like him.

Anonymous said...

So Mike Tappin lost his seat because of Alan Jones.

Please put you head into a boiling chip pan.

Anonymous said...

Alan Jones was a bully who was always determined to get his own way no matter what. The council is a better place without him.

fenton Tom said...

Mervin Smith lost his seat...
(in Norton because his party were about to boot him out)
....in Bentilee because of the 'cultural quarter' and Barry Stockley.

Absolute load of bollocks.

no such thing as society said...

The news of Alan Jones leaving the Labour party comes as a total shock to me.

I thought he'd left years ago, thats how much he's been missed!

margaret said...

Wasn't Alan Jones the Mayor who pulled the limo up when it was pissing down with rain and put a pensioner into the back seat and took her home?
Meredith shuts schools is booed out of the Britannia stadium and lost his job.

oh, because of 'worldgate'. Codswallop and bollocks.

deluded but proud said...

Dimensions was about to close, not because of Joy Garner, but because of Alan Jones.

Anonymous said...

I see the sentinel is running the oracle story of the MBE Governor at Edensor TC.
Well done Oracle, they'll run the Alan Jones story by the weekend at a guess.

Anonymous said...

deluded but proud I think you mean Dimensions splash pool was about to close because of Mark Meredith.

Ian Norris said...

Anon: you should well know plans to close dimensions were discussed way back in 2001/02

town hall observer said...

Sorry deluded but proud, but Alan Jones was dumped by the voters of Abbey long before the BNP came along and it was entirely down to his own failings and those of the council in which he played a major role as the deputy leader.

Like his former colleagues such as Barry Stockley he's bitter and twisted because they have never been able to come to terms with being removed from office by the voters and believe they should still be there running the council in the same manner it was run for the previous 40-odd years.

town hall observer said...

Ian, so closing Dimensions might originally have been an idea discussed by Barry Stockley & Co.?

Jason said...

Isn't it best to compare jones and Meredith on all points and then judge?

the joker said...

Alan Jones and Barry stockley were removed after a concerted effort by the Sentinel and radio journalists after the 'all out elections' produced a 60-0 Labour victory.People power.
I've never really understood why readers do not understand that Jones and Stockley carry the can as elected representatives for the incompetence of highly paid officers.

Ian Norris said...

town hall observer : yes it was, trying to picture Alan Jones was he one of the Flat Cap Brigade, any way the idea for Dimensions to be run as a private trust was brought to committee and then sen to unions to come back with an alternative

Anonymous said...

the joker - err... perhaps because it's the responsibility of councillors to manage those highly paid officers, make sure they do their jobs properly and to hold them to account.

brooneyes said...

Let's hope the rest of these
leftist no hopers pack up and bugger off too!

brooneyes said...

I know why he retired from the Labour party. He saw the p*sspoor
light displays in Tunstall, Fenton, and doubtless elsewhere!
This is one for Joy Garner to answer. What has happened to the Christmas lights? Why do you morons in the Labour party insist on foisting these "winterfest" lights on us instead? You do understand that even as hard as you are working for it, we're not an islamic country yet? We want Christmas lights, nativity scenes, and not the pathetic crap you lot have dangled from lamposts all over the city!!
Is nothing bloody sacred??

t. cope said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Independant said...

Rats! sinking ships!

Shaun Bennett said...

Clearly all the men of principle are now deserting the Labour Party!

And still this unprincipled coalition will continue against the advice of members of all parties involved; and still the membership of those parties will continue to decline; and still the Independents, BNP and Potteries Alliance will be the only beneficiaries from this whole sorry episode.

Its a very sorry and sad state of affairs for the politics of this city.

Shaun Bennett said...

P.S. theres an article in the Sentinel saying that 'councillors will hold an internal election in June 2009 to decide who will lead the council for the next 4 years'

Leaving aside the overwhelmingly powerful arguments for having a full council election ahead of that vote for Leader, isn't it a bit premature to say that whoever the councillors chose will lead the city for a full 4 years?

That would imply that there will be no election until 2013! Because an election any earlier would possibly change the council leader by removing that Leader's majority on the council, or by perhaps defeating them in their own ward.

If there is an election in 2010 as planned, or a full council election in 2011 as seems likely, the leadership of the council cannot be guaranteed.

Is this just a case of journalistic error? or do the Sentinel know something we don't: that the decision to move to all out elections has already been agreed behind the scenes and that the £20,000 council consultation is a meaningless exercise to fool us into thinking that they care what we think?

Ian Norris said...

Shaun: all out elections as agreed on July 18th along with all recommendations, instead of just noting recommendations or agreeing in policy they was accepted.

Anonymous said...

Probably piss poor reporting by the Sentinel (again).

tim mullen said...

Town Hall Observer is absoultely right; in fact it had been rumoured that Alan Jones and his family resigned from the Party after his electoral defeat, only to rejoin to fight the BNP in Abbey Green. Certainly when I worked on the by-election that got Paul Sutton elected, Mr Jones (and his family) were conspicuous by their absence. Knowing Alan personally during his year as Lord Mayor and later in his leadership role, he was part of the problem and not part of the solution.

His reasons for leaving still leave my oft-repeated question unanswered however. I can accept, and support his oppposition to BSF, I disagree with his opposition to care home closures as the new system of keeping people in their homes for longer wherever possible is proving successful, but, and I ask this again, with no Group coming close to 31 seats and a majority in the Council Chamber, how do people like Alan Jones (and people on here who oppose the coalition) propose the Council should be run? Did you oppose the Conservative/Independent coalition that ran the City for about 12 months during Mike Wolfe's Mayorality? If not, why is this different? And what would be your alternative (and no Craig, a simple "let the BNP run it" won't suffice!)?

To address Shaun's point, we cannot look four years into the future - it is highly likely that, if the Governance Commission recommendations are followed to the full, that the Local Government Commission will have to be invited in to redraw the Ward boundaries (and given that this is done every 10 years anyway, we would be close to an automatic examination, and possible change, of Ward boundaries). Therefore sometime around 2010 we could be looking at all-out elections, after which a Leader would be elected for four years.

T Cope said...

That wasn't even me that time. I've had enough of all these other fake T Copes stealing my joke. They should get one of their own like a fake Craig Pond, or Steve Batkin or one of the other semi-educated lunatics that try and tell us that our dark skinned friends shouldn't be our friends (or wives and girlfriends for that matter).

brooneyes said...

No-one was press ganged!lol

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...


Just to clarify. Under the Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Act 2007, Leaders of the Council will be elected for a four year period in the same way as Elected Mayors are elected by the public for a four year period. Obviously if the Leader loses his/her seat then a new Leader would be elected, but it will be the Leader who chooses their Cabinet, that power has now been taken away from the Council. There is in effect very little difference between the models of governance that were debated in the referendum, other than one is called a Leader and the other is called a Mayor (and the obvious that the Leader is elected by councillors and Mayor by the people). Hope this explains a bit of the background without going into the technicalities. Of course the consultation is a fudge, all consultation is a flawed in this city because very few people want to be engaged & even less care how often elections are held. The bigger issue is solving the engagement crisis and bringing forward with the policies, charisma and ability to lead.

warren said...

Can we stick to the subject on this one, I hardly think that BNP list as got a thing to do with Alan Jones turning his back on Labour.
It is nice to see that Alan has highlighted his objection to the closer of care homes. I don't blame him at all on quiting Labour, and with a planed coalition with the Conservatives on a local level, that goes to show how very close them two partys are, very close indeed.
If anyone from the Labour Group is reading this, can I remind you what the Labour sould be doing, useing well thought out idears to help the working man. Bashing three bells of shit out of the citys education system, closeing much needed council run care homes and trying to charge our OAPs for them to use the pull cord system dous'nt do that.All this, and more, as been done under a Labour elected Mayor.
It just gets you looking what you are, and what them fucking wasters in Westminster are, a sack of Conserative wanabes messing around with the money men, hopeing for a few sraps. I detest some of the things the BNP stand for and would never vote for them for that very reason. I agree with them on other things at times, and now seeing New Labours vison, what you want to do, I now see why the BNP may have made inroads in Stoke. Its becouse the rest of you ofour all the same thing, we are going to do this, so gob closed and take it.

nita said...

Former Town Clerk. You are spot on. This was the point I made, before the Referendum, there wasn't that much difference to choose from, between the two systems.

The people seem to think, there is going to be some massive change by getting rid of the Mayoral System. I'm not that convinced.

Mr Meredith has at least tried to do positives for the City, and has set up many projects. Yes, some decisions have been unpopular, and have now cost him. He, along with Serco, could not give everyone what they wanted on the school issues, so those that didn't get a school probably kicked him out. That's upto them, its their choice.

As for Alan Jones leaving the Labour Party, that's his decision, and he has his reasons.

It was in his time, that Labour started losing votes, and it has gone downbank from there. People protested on how the Council was being run, and that is one reason, why I voted for the Mayoral System in the first place.

Lets hope we get a good Leader, who picks good Councillors for his/her Cabinet, and we can move on. All this bickering over old labour v new labour is improving nothing is it.

Gary Elsby said...

Town Clerk is wrong, not right.
The difference between the Mayor and a leader is that the leader is subject to group discipline through the whip. The Mayor is not part of the Labour Group and is not subject to the whip.
In other words, the Mayor can do as he pleases.
The leader will have to abide by the rules.

Alan Jones has never left the party and then rejoin to fight the BNP.

The notion that Alan Jones was 'part of the problem' needs to be expanded on as this is a bone of contention that sees all things done in the past as being wrong (absolute bollocks) and all things being done now as right and good (absolute bollocks).

Town Hall Observer said...

Tim Mullen is 100% correct.

His observations on that disastrous period are obviously very similar to mine.

gary elsby said...

Being a Conservative and offering no proof whatsoever, you would.

Ian Norris said...

Tim Mullen: Its perhaps different now becaue the Labour Group woul not join the Independent and Tory cross party cabinent as they was invited to do so.

But now the new leader is happy to Join the Allaince.

Ian Norris said...

Gary Elsby: but Mark Meredith is a Labour Councillor, so why is he not under the Same Whip?

Town Hall Observer said...

Ian - If Alan Rigby becomes the leader will he have any BNP councillors in his cabinet?

Abbey BNP said...

Alan Jones, Graham Wallace and Brian Tinsley were crap councillors anyway. They were not interested in the people of the Abbey, just power mad.

The BNP councillors are much better.

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

Gary Elsby is right that the Leader of the Council who is a member of the Labour Group would be subject to group disciplinary procedures. HOWEVER I'm not convinced that the Leader of the Council will be a Labour Member and therefore we cannot speculate on how other groups will operate, but the point which Gary clearly misses in my previous post, is that all Executive power is effectively in the hands of the Leader, as it will be he/she who appoints the Cabinet NOT the Council. So it is exactly the same as the Mayor does now.

I understand that Labour are actually preparing for a period in opposition to allow the other groups to hang themselves and then return as glorious messiahs to redeem the city. Perhaps Gary you should concentrate on how Labour will regain power rather than attempt to retain it? Opposition wouldn't be such a bad thing, if Labour are as competent as you would have us believe then perhaps a period of demonstrating that by holding decision-makers to account for a change would be a more effective way of communicating that. I understand that is what the regional party is telling the city party too ...

Gary elsby said...

Ian: Mark is the Mayor and not a Councillor but is called the 61st Councillor.He can vote how he likes but it would be odd to vote against Labour.he is certainly not subject to the whip and is therefore void of effective criticism. The intention was that Elected Labour Mayors would become party leader thus removing(Joy Garner)a position.If mark had won his referendum, he would have become more powerful than now but inside thw whip. Mayors are City first, party second. I believe that Mark was given diabolical advice from friends around him and this is why he has lost everything other than his policies that are unliked and unsupported by everyone.
Town Clerk: Yes, you are correct but the difference here is that the Leader is potentially a target of no confidence and that is a massive difference and a clear distinction from the curent set up that ignores democracy.
I particularly like your analysis of going into opposition. There is something to be said about that.
Mark Meredith has within his power to form a minority administartion under Labour and this would expose all comers to any vote against it. This is where most Labour members would feel comfortable and labour candidates could then fight elections against opposition and not amongst themselves.
I like even more your view on the Regional Directive (NEC, you mean)There is a bit of manouvering at the edges where a smaller structure of admin will evolve but the main thrust is that the group is being held up as ignoring Labour Policy locally and this is now outlawed.The grat ideological divide between Labour does not exist but the BNP and amateur politicians play on such silly things as fact.There is a 1000 years of experience in Labour school Governors here in Stoke but almost none of that experience has been requested.To think that Labour members don't want to move forward or improve schools and education is an extremely poor attempt to undermine any popular opposition to a bully who breaks all the rules.

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

In all fairness, I've never met any councillor (irrespective of any political party) who did not want to improve the city, the issue has always been about the ability to deliver it (both at member & officer level).

Gary, I understand that Labour in Stoke will have their own views, but I think it would be really refreshing to see the group in opposition challenging for change and refreshing itself ready to come back and deliver what local people want - if you could convince your colleagues of that, you would be doing the city and them a real service. The real issue is get democracy back into the heart of government in Stoke-on-Trent.

brooneyes said...

Gary Elsby.
That last post of yours was ridiculous. Here you are, telling us that Meredith made such a bloody mess of everything because of crap advice from the other Labour numpties?!
First off, if Napoleon is incapable of making his own mind up without the help of the loser squad, he shouldn't have been selscted for that position in the first place. The only kind of policies Meredith has are unpopular and unwanted! That man wouldn't know a good idea if it bit him on the arse!
You say, City first, party second.
If it was any kind of party you wouldn't have to make that distinction because you'd all be pulling in the same direction! What that should actually read is this; Self interest first, city when I can be arsed.
All the time, you bloody Labour fanatics are shouting the odds that the people should vote for you because this time you're going to get it right! But you've had 60 years, how much longer is it going to take??
The problem is this Gary. Your party is crap. It's got crap councillors, crap policies, no vision for the future of the city
outside of, 'let's bring an outside group in to run it.' The Labour party is morally and ideologically bankrupt, as attested to by the demostration of lying and backstabbing in everything they do(I'm thinking in particular of the governance commission and transitional board, and the fact that they would get into bed with the Tories)What you are doing is illegal Gary, you could get reported to the RSPCA for flogging a dead horse....

Ian Norris said...

Bob: are you sure the Elected Mayor draws Councillors allowance and travel expenses just as a councillor would, but has a slighlty larger Special responibilty allowance.

Former Towns Clerk: if they do go for opposition lets see if they do a better job then last time. When Independents ran the Cabinent. Labour members simply stopped attending committees esp Budget meetings (yep they threw their dummy out)

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

Ian, you're right. Although there was also the impending change in governance in 2002 at that time, when everything was effectively rendered pointless in the eyes of many Members. It will be a good test though, for ALL councillors.

John Walker said...

Craig the hypocrite strikes again.
Making accusations of backstabbing after what happened yesterday!

Anonymous said...

Spot on John Walker. It was a party member that posted the list in a last ditch attempt to get a leadership contest started as Nick has become way too dictatorial. I agree with what somone has said about it nationally. It's not those in certain professions that need to worry. It's not even ANL, UAF or even some of the muslim groups that the members need to be worried about. It's a little known Jewish youth organisation that has had Zeev Jobotinsky and Menachem Begin as alumni and has alleged links to Mossad and the IDF that they really need to be concerned with.

brooneyes said...

John Walker, I see you've been at the drink made by your namesake!
As for the Gary Elsby anonymous, no one will break the BNP, not you, not the other lefty retards,
and not the traitorous scum that were kicked out of the party. We're not only here to stay, but we grow stronger and stronger.

MI6 said...

Who needs to break the BNP? It seems as though they can't wait to lay into each other!
We know how it goes, Craig, you want us to believe that there isa great conspiracy against the peoples BNP and thousand will swarm out to defend you at the ballot box.
Truth is the BNP is a little Nazi Party dissing each other at every turn.
Don't you realise that a couple at the top are actually MI5 agents infiltrating an extreme party and organising it into the ground?
Do you think Nick and Simon are genuine right wingers with a bit upstairs?
They are puppet masters dangling your extremist strings and you'll dance all day and night to their tune in a City such as this.
Alby is about as important as local trainspotter.
Both Simon and Nick worked for MI5 in Norther Irealand and handled the internal squabbling between the UDA and UVF.
Get real, Craig.

nita said...

Warren, I like to see you have a good rant, go for it, ha ha.

Brooneyes. You state "your party has got crap Councillors, crap policies and no vision for the City". Stop ranting, and just list what the BNP's policies and vision are for the City then. I for one, have no idea!

Former Town Clerk, I am with you on that one, I too believe that the new Leader will not be from the Labour Group. Independent looks on the cards.

mi6. Great comment.

Shaun Bennett said...

Just a couple of points:
First, although the act of parliament may say that a Leader is elected for 4 years, I can't see any circumstances in which a sitting leader whose party or coalition has lost its majority would then continue to act as leader if the majority party or coalition chose to oppose it.

Second, I understood that the Stoke ward boundaries remained unchanged between 1979 and 2002? That means that the boundaries are not always redrawn every 10 years.

Third, whilst I agree that a Leader from the Independent Group would be desirable in preference to Labour continuing, as I have speculated on other debates, the most likely outcome at the moment must be a continuation of the Lib-Lab-Con coalition under a new Leader?

Ian Norris said...

Former Town Clerk's Dept: A good test for ALL cllrs, if the other Councillors allow it, or will they just play all the same games they been playing with the Mayors.

I think its got to be Barnes or Garner to show that this system is workable then once Settled in the Independents can then lead the way

brooneyes said...

If we're so unimportant, why all the hysteria over us? I didn't ask for you, or any of the other retards that have posted here, to make comments. I certainly haven't said anything about a conspiricy
either. You're just another saddo with an axe to grind, but which you can't do openly because you know debating would see you losing.
You're pathetic.

brooneyes said...

Nita, we're waiting for this debate of all the candidates, but it hasn't appeared yet, a bit like Tony. Do tell him when you see him the police are looking for him.

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...


If you move to all out elections, then the likelihood of a change in the political balance of the Council is extremely unlikely, therefore the Leader is unlikely to be toppled. Look at other authorities who have successfully operated Leader & Cabinet (in some cases for a decade) - there is none of this toppling of the Leader nonsense during mid-term. The point is that the Leader is elected by the Council for four years, so unless the Leader resigns, there will be no incidence of the Council having the opportunity to re-elect the same Leader.

In effect, the Annual Council meeting becomes a bit of a farce other than appointing a new Lord Mayor and appointing the membership of the committee. The issue of the Executive would not be discussed.

I doubt the Independents will continue to have the support to survive politically if the main groups get their act together. But that is a big if, the burden is on all councillors to make the best of what we've got.

For the record, despite being a retard (see Brooneyes above), I couldn't give a monkey's cuss about the British National Party.

Ian Norris said...

Former Town Clerk's Dept: I think shaun is only thinking of the start of the new system. But yes when all out elections come into full effect, the mayority or alliance will elect a leader for the next 4 years ( just like mayoral system) smoke n mirrors new way forward humbug

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The Oracle said...

The Oracle is pleased that the Sentinel published this story on its front page:-)
Sentinel journalists will do well to follow this site as heads WILL roll in this City for crimes committed against our overtaxed people.
Councillors, Transition Board members,Officers and just about anyone else should not attempt to sleep with both eyes shut and think they can safely accept money from the small public purse and ask us to thank them for it.
NO! I work on the concept that you steal it and have taken more than you should have because you are dishonest to us, to your respective parties but not to yourself.
I will find you out!

Dr.Doom said...

The one person I most admire on the blogsphere is this Oracle. I thought I was devious and wretched, but Oracle has a certain flair about it when it comes to breaking the will and spirit of those that decieve for a living.
I really do hope that the Oracle is at least as evil as I am.

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

Soon to be less-taxed if this much vaunted fiscal stimulus is brought forward! But go for it Oracle, you have my support old chum.

You're now my favourite oracle, it used to be ORACLE-based teletext pre-1993 on ITV, but you're now my number 1.

Shaun Bennett said...

I agree that if we move to all out elections, then it is extremely unlikely that a Leader would be toppled before the end of the 4 year term-unless the balance of the council is very fine (as it is now) and for some reason support shifts during mid term.

However, I don't think that all out elections are generally a good idea for the city. As we seem to be in the middle of a 'consultation' process over this, I assume that there is still a possibility that election by thirds may be retained?

Former Town Clerk's Dept said...

Yes, there is a possibility that elections by thirds will be retained, however Govt have forced the issue by including the provision within recent legislation. A lot of authorities are moving towards all-out elections and need the County have operated this system for some time now. But, in short, there is still a possibility.

tim mullen said...

Shaun referring to your post of 19 November, just because Ward boundaries are reviewed does not mean they are changed. It is actually quite rare for them to be changed (there has been some minor tinkering with Moss Green Estate being moved into Berryhill and Hanley East Ward and Stoke Central Constituency at the next General Election, and all of Trent Vale being moved into Stoke and Trent Vale Ward (rather than being split in half) and again moved into Stoke Central constituency).