Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Did he jump, or was he pushed?

A way back for Linda Waggott?

Former South Tyneside Mayor and Labour Councillor Bill Lynch has announced his intention to stand down at the elections next May. He was first elected for Boldon Colliery in 2001, and the bachelor served as Mayor in 2005.

A large and ebullient man with a gregarious sense of humour he made a popular figure as the borough's Mayor, and it comes as something of a surprise that local Labour officials are prepared to let the man walk away from his council seat after only five years!
It does seem a short length of time to serve as a councillor in comparison to some of his contemporaries, and leaves one asking whether the Labour Party was looking for an opportunity to make room for the return of a more favoured one?

In his statement to the Shields Gazette he says that he will be backing Linda Waggott in yet another attempt to regain a seat on the Council. I've never quite understood why the people of South Shields and South Tyneside have been so prepared to vote in family teams of councillors over the years, perhaps because they are always in each other's pockets they make better candidates? I Don't know - but we have certainly had one or two such teams over the years:

Elizabeth and Murtagh Diamond (Labour)
Vi and Ken Webster (Labour)
Paul and Linda Waggott (Labour)
Iain and Ed Malcolm (Labour)
Don and Frank Dixon (Labour)
Mavis and Bill Brady (Labour)
Elizabeth and Ken Scrimgour (Labour)
Wallace and Gladys Hobson (Labour)
Arthur and Joan Meeks (Labour)
Eddie McAtominey and Nancy Maxwell (Labour)
Allen and Jane Branley (Independant)
Ann and Alan Madsen (Progressive)

and that is just a short selection.

Of course, years ago, there were no fixed annual allowances for councillors, they were made on a meeting by meeting basis. yet the accusations still flew about that these family members "were in it for the money" (whether or not there was any basis in fact.) Now that we are in an era with almost full time councillors, the accusation and the suspicions become even more stark, and perhaps more relevant. Whilst we must also take into consideration the difficulty in finding candidates to represent an established political party in the local elections, it could just be possible that the parties involved are offering us the very best quality at their disposal! This may be true for the established parties, but it seems that the Independants and Progressives have little problem these days in fulfilling their required quotas of candidates.

The former Mayor, Linda Waggott, must indeed be a special candidate, since losing her seat in Biddick Hall and failing to win in Bede in 2004 and 2006 ( to a former Labour councillor turned Independant) it seems that a "safe" seat must be beckoning for her in Boldon Colliery. So, one hopes that the nice man Cllr. Lynch truly wishes for a peaceful retirement, at the age of 67 he certainly could not be considered "old" and must have had a bit more to offer, I really hope he wasn't "persuaded" to go. One only hopes, for her sake, that Boldon Colliery doesn't turn Independant next year!

Of greater interest to Curly is the revelation that Bill Lynch is a player of the Northumbrian pipes, and there are not many of them about. I wonder if he'd be willing to make a video for the Corner Shop?


Shields Gazette
Tom Jackson's My Northumbria (article on the pipes.)

Hi Curly - I just surfed here after picking up a backlink from my article on the Northumbrian Pipes. Looks like we have a shared interest and affiliation in politics ;) Do keep visiting My Northumberland as I guide people around our beautiful county.
Thanks for your input Tom, I wonder what you mean by a "shared interest and affiliation" now that certain people are talking about Bill Lynch being on "a downward slope"?

Does this mean that he is being pressured to make way for Linda Waggott? Perhaps only he can tell us?

I'm still hoping to persuade him to make a video featuring the Northumbrian Pipes for publication in the Corner Shop. There are very few videos featuring live performances of music using the Northumbrian pipes (apart from Katheryn Tickell's band) that I thought it would be worthwhile project to pursue!
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