Wednesday, June 21, 2006 

28 Days Later (aka The Walking Dead)

It's been nearly a month since this blog highlighted this serious conflict of interest. I've been a little busy lately, but the time has finally come for me to check in and let you know what has happened since... and what has not.

(Note - It may seem a bit piecemeal in places, but a big pile of documents beckons, so I've no time for neatness.)

- Most recently, and probably most importantly for a lot of people in the Godalming area, Anne Milton has turned out to be predictably ineffective in the debate over the proposed excavation of Eashing Farm for millions of tonnes of sand and valuable Bargate Stone. She's trying to make the right noises, bless her, but the fact remains that she isn't the bold boat-rocker her supporters make her out to be, and she really can't afford to go head to head with her Conservative councillor colleagues on Guildford Borough Council or Surrey County Council. Especially not after pissing away her first year in such grand style.

- Still, Anne has recently tried to undo some of the damage by Keeping very Busy Indeed before bunking off on holiday. A recent flurry of parliamentary activity is evident, and Anne even took the time to invite herself to the 2006 Bramley Village Fete.

(At the fete, she actually stayed for longer than 15 minutes, and judged the costume parade and the cake competition. She also managed to make her way around every single stall... bar the one I was working on, of course. Oh, and she doesn't know it yet, but she owes me one. Water pistols were a popular item at this particular fete, and she came *this* close to a coordinated soaking. It was me that talked the young folk out of it. Not that I'm Down With The Kids or anything... it's just that I know exactly when to employ the ever-persistent myth that Anne Milton eats children.)

- Onto other photo opportunities... you may recall that a reported resemblance to comedian Julian Clary has been milked by Milton in the past. It even led to a meeting between the two late last year. But this report of their most recent meeting appears to suggest a wary/weary tolerance on Julian's part...

New Statesman - Julian's week: Later I arrived at a bookshop in Guildford to do what is called a "literary event". Because my autobiography has come out in paperback I am obliged to turn up and talk about myself for an hour. Waiting outside were the local press and the Tory MP Anne Milton, puckering up for a photo opportunity. (Identified as lookie-likies in Punch magazine, we go way back.) Coming over all showbizzy, I rather forgot my position as Kate Moss's lover and gave her a kiss on the cheek. Of course, the flashbulbs went off and our innocent clench was captured.

- Back onto conflict-of-interest reactions... I always know when I score a palpable hit, because ardent supporters of Anne Milton (like Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers) always follow up by going more than a little apeshit. Now an anonymous attack site has emerged that (once again) tries to convince people that I'm in the employ of Sue Doughty. It also seeks to interfere with my ongoing income.

So, just to summarise...

1. They're out to prove that I've launched a personal attack with an unspoken political agenda by launching a personal attack with an unspoken political agenda.

2. They state that I work for Sue Doughty while - at the same time - they seek to harass me at what they clearly regard to be my actual place of work.

Sheer genius.

- Tripping back to this link for no reason in particular, I seek to remind Dennis Paul and Mike Chambers that voters probably won't trust them with council budgets if they have a proven history of misusing time and equipment paid for by the taxpayer.

- Housekeeping: On 27 May 2006, Sue Doughty was re-selected as prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford. The navigation bar has been updated to include a link to her campaign website. I've also added a link to the Wikipedia entry for the constituency of Guildford, but will not be adding the Wikipedia entry for Anne Milton just yet, because it contains much silliness at the moment. (Not guilty. Cross my heart and hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.)

- Opinion: On 27 May 2006, Sue Doughty was re-selected as prospective parliamentary candidate for Guildford. That means that she and her imperfect, inadequate and totally inept carbon copy will be going head to head. Again. Unless Milton gets de-selected, of course. The local Lib-Dems may not appreciate my pointing out the obvious, but here goes... A lot of time, money and effort went into passing Milton off as a Tory clone of Doughty, and - even with the magic of potential on her side - she only scraped by with a 347-vote margin. Now that the cold, hard reality has sunk in, do you really think she can pull it off again? Before you answer that, consider that even if Milton makes a concerted effort to lift her game in the coming months/years, she's hamstrung by a dearth of goodwill. This, combined with the impact of recent boundary changes... well, it doesn't take a genius to work out that the Conservatives will need to field a much stronger candidate next time around. Given the farce of the past election, track record is going to be a key issue... so a quiet word in Nick St Aubyn's ear is probably called for.

- Finally, we come to the bit that hasn't happened; almost a month has passed since Anne's major conflict of interest was made public, and she still hasn't updated her Register of Members' Interests. Is she really hoping to sweep this under the carpet?

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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 

A clear conflict of interest

The most recent edition of the Surrey Advertiser reports the following:
A major shake-up of the health service across the South East has been agreed which will see services such as GP surgeries delivered by one organisation in Surrey... the number of primary care trusts (PCTs) - the organisations which run GP surgeries, community hospitals and commission care from acute hospitals - will be reduced nationally from 303 to 152. Five PCTs in Surrey - North Surrey, East Surrey, Surrey Heath & Woking, Guildford & Waverly and East Elmbridge & Mid Surrey- will amalgamate to form one county-wide trust.

OK, we're talking health here, so Anne "I'm a nurse!" Milton clearly has the inside track... and certainly must know something we don't when she makes a rare out-of-step move like this:
Leader of Conservative run Surrey County Council Nick Skellett has welcomed the creation of one PCT.... However, Guildford's Tory MP Anne Milton has dubbed the changes to PCTs as "disruptive, destabilising and making patient care suffer".
Disruptive, destabilising... and making patient health care suffer. I suspect there's a reason that Amme's objections are prioritised in this way, and that the reason is hidden in the following list:

Saroj Auplish - Director of Public Health, North Surrey PCT
Graham Henderson - Director of Public Health, East Surrey PCT
Judi Linney - Director of Public Health, Surrey Heath & Woking PCT
Ruth Milton - Director of Public Health, Guildford & Waverly PCT
Jonathan Hildebrand - Director of Public Health, East Elmbridge & Mid Surrey PCT

(I bet you're looking at the name 'Ruth Milton' right now and screaming; "Gotcha!". Heh. Sorry to tease... but we're not there yet. Ruth Milton is not related to Anne Milton. At all.)

When the five PCTs amalgamate to form one county-wide trust, you can be sure that they will not be needing five Directors of Public Health.

Also, the new Director of Public Health - whoever that may turn out to be - is most likely to be based at Woking. (Out of all the current PCT offices, Woking has the most office space and the best communications; it's not centrally-located, but it's sure to be any bean-counter's primary choice.)

This is sure to worry one Director of Public Health in particular... Dr Graham Henderson.

Dr Graham Henderson is one of the few regional Directors without a secondary role to fall back on (many of the people on this list have a dual role such as 'Director of Public Health and Medical Director') and even if he is awarded the new central position of Director of Public Health for Surrey, Dr Henderson's commute will switch from Reigate to Earlswood (about 2 miles) to Reigate to Woking (about 20 miles).

As it turns out, Dr Graham Henderson's wife already has to drive approximately 20 miles to her office and/or the occasional event... in Guildford.

Yes, folks... we're finally there:

Dr Graham Henderson, Director of Public Health for the East Surrey PCT, is the husband of Anne Milton, Guildford MP.

(Sidebar: Currently, the only online record that exists that shows that these two people are connected by marriage is on this weblog. Please leave any tips in the jar.)

Now, why do you think Anne Milton would disagree with her Conservative colleague so boldly by describing the upcoming changes to PCTs as "disruptive, destabilising and making patient care suffer"....?

Could it be because of a clear conflict of interest?

Anne herself must surely recognise this. Why else would she declare a nameless husband on an unnamed trust to the House during this debate?

Sadly, that's as far as Anne's transparency goes. Her husband's role and its possible impact on her participation in any debate on the subject of Surrey-based PCTs is not listed in her Register of Members' Interests and - while the relevant letter is not included in the report - there appears to be no record of her making any such declaration when she recently gave evidence to the Surrey Health Scrutiny Committee (PDF).

When it comes to any comment or consultation on upcoming changes to primary care trusts, Anne Milton should keep her mouth shut... and if she can't keep her mouth shut, then the first words that dribble from her lips should be "While my husband's future income and convenience depends greatly on maintaining the status quo, I do feel that I should say this..."

That way, when she describes the impending PCT changes as "disruptive, destabilising and making patient care suffer", people will know that she means disruptive for her husband and destabilising to her routine... and that any mention of patient care is a mere afterthought.

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About me

    Hi. I'm Tim. I live in Guildford. I've built a few political weblogs here and there. If you're wondering why I decided to start this particular blog, click here.


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