Tuesday, 17 February 2009

Strife Spreads Among Tory Ranks

Just a couple of weeks after claiming the scalp of her opposite number in the Children's Services scandal Conservative councillor Isobell Ballsdon has suffered the indignity of a sideways promotion.

In a backhanded compliment to her successful criticisms of the Labour regime, Conservative group leader, Cllr Andrew Cumpsty, announced himself "delighted to add even more breadth and depth to the Conservative team."

Cllr Jamie Chowdhary will replace Cllr Ballsdon on the Education & Children's Services Scrutiny Panel and the Parenting Panel, who now takes over the shadow planning brief for the party group.

Oranjepan asks:
After holding the ruling party to account with little support from her superiors, which member of the Conservative hierarchy did Cllr Ballsdon upset to receive such a reward?

What was it in her newspaper article that opened up a festering internal party schism which required her to be moved away from this area with such haste?

Update: It appears that someone in the local press agrees, though we don't know about Mr Howarth's description of Cllr Ballsdon as 'fearsome'. Mick's satire also cuts close to the knuckle.


For full coverage of the events which have rocked Reading since the death of Child T, go to the Special Report on Children's Services in Reading (see sidebar).


  1. Hmmm photogenic woman politician gets bad deal from local political party. Doesn't happen in Reading does it? The boys on either side really don't like it when they get shown up by an effective female politician who gets results. Shame on you Reading Tories.

  2. Agree with you. She had balls ( no offence or pun) and it worked. Someone needs to tell the Reading Tories they have just gone down the estimation of many people who felt she was the Joan of Ark of the local Tory electorate!!

  3. absolutely right both of you - and there was I thinking the Tories were getting it together now victory is in their grasp - there's still time boys, do it right for once, you know you can

  4. I refer anonymous commenters to the house rules.

    Please note that ISP's are logged automatically and can easily be identified.

  5. ISP's may be logged, but does Blogger give them to you? And do the ISP's give you the IP numbers and identiities without a Court order. Who are you, Stella Rimmington?

    If you don't want anonymous comments, then remove the facilitiy. Simple as.

  6. Anon 20:56,
    Bad luck - that is strike three on my real identity and I now feel no requirement or responsibility to deny any further guesses.

    It is to your own and everybody's advantage to provide some form of disambiguation, as this creates a minimal level of accountability which helps raise the standard of discussion.

    But I'm not about to impose restrictions to enforce any personal taste and I would hope you'd do the same.

    I could choose a name for you based upon what information is available, but I think you'll prefer to make the most of this opportunity to express yourself.

  7. Please go ahead - make my day

  8. In that case please feel free to oblige Readers by using the moniker 'Slug' in the future.

  9. Slug (without the lettuce)19 February 2009 at 02:05

    We all know you are a Lib Dem Cllr. The question is it Epps or EppsADaisy?

    On the subject, wouldn't surprise me if Cumpsty is gone within weeks...

  10. Feel the need to put this to bed, as I eat lunch.

    Oranjepan is...

    ...not Gareth, Daisy, me, or any other Lib Dem councillor. I know that no one will believe this, but that's your problem. I'm generally an honest sort of bloke so if you don't believe me and want to continue wasting your time pointing the finger at one of us 8, carry on.

    That said there do seem to be massive Lib Dem leanings - want a membership form Oranjepan? lol

  11. We finally find a local Conservative by the name of Isobel Ballsdon who can stand up and really go after the Politbureau of the Peoples Republic of Reading and what happens – she is removed.

    On the face of it an amazing act by the leadership of the very party who is meant to be the official opposition. But look a little deeper and perhaps not so strange.

    As you know Cumsty & company have had a very cosy relationship with our friends in the Reading Kremlin for years. They are allowed tend their little patch North of the river and if they are good, get a new Zebra crossing in Emmer Green.

    Now we have a politician really doing her job and taking down a senor Politbureau member. The satellite state of Conservative Caversham has been forced to act by their lords & masters at Redingski Square.

    Conservative Councillors your time has come, get behind Isobel Ballsdon, get rid of the Labour supporting cabal that lead you and start the process of real opposition in this town.

  12. A call for a coup! How exciting!

    However, I think that the local Tories will have other matters on their minds over the next few days - words like 'Bearwood' and 'Funding' and 'Denial' will surely find their way into the debate.

    Strange that none of them has rushed to blog on this issue, content still to act as a platform for comments from BNP supporters and ant government stories in tory supporting newspapers, But then, what else is new?

    Cllr Willis has been encouraging people to attend this weeks Council meeting. May be regretting that now.....I for one intend to be there!

  13. Call for a coup? Well it,s long overdue,time to sack the manager not the star striker.

    A few more goals from Ballsdon and less match fixing behind the scenes.

  14. I wonder whether Cllr Ballsdon would have been allowed to speak out at all if she had been elected to represent a ward in Wokingham Borough Council?


"Reading List... is fantastic, it could help revolutinise politics in Reading"
Matt Blackall

Matt Brady

Adrian Windisch

Reading Geek Night

"A bloggers digest of the Berkshire blogosphere"

"An easily accessible collection of Berkshire's excellent blogs"
The Cookham Blogger

"An excellent digest of the thoughts of local bloggers"
Reading Guide