4. Another Attempt at Getting Councillor E-Vasey-Ive to Explain her Role in the David Ford Fish Oil Farce

September 28, 2008

I received Councillor Vasey’s utterly pathetic response on 9th November 2006 (see page 3) and I sent the following reply the same day:

Dear Councillor Vasey,

Thank you for your reply to my e-mail.

David Ford and I know each other very well (he was my link inspector when that system was first instigated) and I have debated many issues with him since then. We are old “sparring partners” who go back a long way and I think he will not only notb be surprised by my comments (I have tackled him on many issues in my professional career) but will also vigorously defend his position (as I would expect him to do.)

If I had wanted David’s reactions to my questions, I would have e-mailed him or indeed phoned him or “collared” him at some education event and “bent his ear” about his Fish Oil Trial (sorry – initiative!) He knows I would, because he knows me too well.

In a recent e-mail to him, I made a joking reference to “Fish Oil” which he chose to ignore!

In sending my questions to David, it seems to me that you entirely miss my point and my purpose in writing to you, as Lead Councillor for Children’s Services. I didn’t want to know what he would say. I wanted to know what the Lead member for Children’s Services would say.

Are you telling me that as Lead member for Children’s Services, you do not understand the issues I have raised?

It may be that I have been somewhat imprecise in conveying my concerns.

They are that the Fish Oil “Trial” (or “Initiative”, depending upon Dave’s memory or perhaps political expediency) is reported to be supported by County Councillors. Accordingly, I simply wanted to know what members’ involvement was. I have contacted two other County Councillors with 50% success. One has replied and the other has not! The one who replied knew little of the matter. Obviously I don’t know the views of the one who didn’t reply.

I doubt if I am making friends and influencing people here, but there you are!

I think that what has gone on has been fairky appalling, with the good name of Durham County Council being made a laughing stock. In contacting you, I was attempting to discover to what extent members were involved, had been briefed and if they had actually understood the “Trial” (sorry – “Initiative”) My own view is that members probably hadn’t much information about the scheme or its implications, as this harebrained “stunt” rolled out. And I think it has been a classic case of how not to conduct a damage limitation exercise and retain any credibility.

What Dave Ford, Madeleine Portwood et al get up to in this affair and what their motives might be is one thing and one could specualte at length about the psychology and sociology of what used to be the LEA, but is now something else, with presumably all manner of power struggles and vacuums at work. My interest and concern was entirely with members and their roles in this “affair.”

So, having forwarded my questions to you, to Dave Ford, how about grasping the nettle as Lead Member for Children’s Ser4vices and having a go at giving me the politician’s perspective of this sorry saga.

What was County Councillor involvement in the planning, approval and implementation of this “initiative?”

The rest of my questions are in my previous e-mail to you. It was your answers I was seeking. David Ford’s comments will be informed by the exigencies of his position in this affair. As I said earlier, if I had wanted his views, I would have asked for them – from him!

Are you happy with the way DCC has been pilloried in the media?

Have you actually forwarded my direct questions, that only the Lead Member for Children’s Services can answer, to the CHief Inspector so that he can answer them for you?

is the tail really wagging the dog in Durham County Council?

I should love to hear your views! (If I want the Gospel According to Ford, I can ask him!)

Yours, ever hopefully (Go on – grasp the nettle!)

Yours etc etc………………

Some two weeks later, I received an e-mailed reply from Councillor Vasey which read as follows:


Yes, I was a bit puzzled too!

But hey – this is Durham County Council we are dealing with – two weeks to think of a reply and then send an “equals” sign is probably good going! It also buys time to get briefed.


2 Responses to “4. Another Attempt at Getting Councillor E-Vasey-Ive to Explain her Role in the David Ford Fish Oil Farce”

  1. JQH said

    My guess would be that she has done the same thing as last time & sent your email to Ford.

    The tail is definitely wagging the dog and Vasey is clearly out of her depth.

  2. jdc325 said

    “two weeks to think of a reply and then send an “equals” sign is probably good going!”

    I reckon complaining about your local council is a popular hobby in this country. I’m starting to think ours may in fact be not-all-that-bad though (in comparison with the horror that is DCC).

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