Wednesday, 8 April 2015
Will it be all change in the Guildhall after the election?
BACK from his annual sun-blast in Goa and looking like he had been French-polished out there, Stan Williams was in prophetic mood at the full council meeting in the Guildhall on Wednesday.
I don’t know if anybody else noticed it, because nobody said so, but The Prophet Stan gave the warning three times – in the future, a hard rain’s gonna fall.
“In the future, this is not how we’re going to do it,” he predicted apocalyptically as he objected to the town council’s fetish for going into secret session at the drop of a hat.
“People ride all over us, this is a weak council and in the future we need to do something,” Oracle Williams objected again later, when admirably-protesting against the council’s timid refusal to just send a man with an axe down to Bagsters Steps to remove that damn gate that has no community right to be there.
“Let’s hope that in the future we get a decent council who will do something,” the Church Street Cassandra warned again, this time in a protest that the town wasn’t sufficiently stinging the grockles enough on the parking fees at Monmouth Beach.
Those of us who have admired Stan since the days of his beatnik bar at the bottom of town in the 1970s realise that when he gets his crystal ball out, it’s wise to pay heed because behind that Baywatch tan is a canny man in the know.
Already, at least three seats on the Guildhall’s haemorrhoids-making benches are up for grabs at the council election on May 7th – George Symonds is standing down from the Right of the council, the Gang on the Left are losing Terry O’Grady and Centre-bencher Lorna Jenkin is going too.
According to the rumours in the town, the Gang may be further depleted as there’s speculation that Chris Clipson and Rikey Austin may also have had enough.
Contingent of Old Lyme candidates
If true, that could make life interesting for the future of block-voting at the Guildhall, which of course doesn’t ever happen.
But, going back to Stan’s prophecy, and moreover the complete conviction in the way he said it, what does all of this “in the future” stuff mean?
It possibly means that there could be a large contingent of Old Lyme among the candidates on May 7th.
We know already that town born and bred Daryl Turner is to attempt a comeback and it will be astonishing if he doesn’t walk it.
But according to the talk of the town, among those speculated to be considering putting up are a formidable team of other Old Lymers - former district councillor Pat Hicks; builder John Broom, son of four-times Mayor of Lyme Henry Broom; the artist David Manners; and small-holder and former dog warden Derek Hallett.
Also on the speculation list are Quality Corner king David Ruffle, popular local lad Sean Larcombe and twice defeated in a by-election Woodroffe teacher Seroas Strain.
For a while recently there was excited talk that top man Alan Reynolds would stand, but I’m reliably informed by his admirable missus, Councillor Cheryl, that it’s a complete and utter no-no. Can’t imagine why.
However, if the speculation is accurate – and we will know after tomorrow, by when all the nominations have to be in – it could be all change at the Guildhall.
And when I say all change, I mean change with a big capital C. For although nobody knows it yet, I am impeccably-informed that if the speculative list of candidates above is correct, one councillor in particular will definitely not be standing again.
And the withdrawing of that name will be a bombshell that nobody has seen coming.
Apart, perhaps, from The Prophet Stan…