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A conflict of interest?



Mike Hancock is never an MP far away from controversy.

Just a read of THIS explains all.

So it was very interesting to read the "Ispy a secret Mike" article about Hancock by Andrew Pierce recently.

Yet what most people fail to comprehend about ‘Red Mike’ is the secret of how he manages to be MP for Portsmouth South AND one of the most important and influential members of Portsmouth City Council which has a budget of a whopping £500 million and is where he holds the Portfolio of Cabinet Member for Planning, Regeneration and Economic development.

In one of the poorest cities in the South of England this is a hugely important post not forgeting that it brings Hancock in another £20,000 a year.

Now you would think that both these jobs require a lot of hands on experience and devotion but it emerges that Hancock is unique, for as far as I am aware he is the ONLY MP in Britain who plays such a critical role in the local decisions which affect his constituents on a daily basis who is also a cabinet member of the local authority area he represents in Parliament.

Therefore, for many people in Portsmouth South where there are serious issues with the local council like a madcap scheme to pedestrianise a vital thoroughfare, it means that they cannot go to their MP for help because Mr Hancock himself had a major role in the original decision.

For example, one hundred people turned out on a wet and windy night recently to complain at a local meeting called by the Southsea Association.

Hancock's City Department of Strategy and Regeneration took £500,000 earmarked for one important local project - (which local residents wholeheartedly approved of) and then, without any consultation, spent it pedestrianising a busy street called Palmerston Road which is a major traffic artery.

The result has been utter and total and very predictable chaos.

It also happens to be an area where residents have complained many times about the social and public disorder problems caused by an excess of drinking establishments where booze filled young people at weekends have turned the street into a no go area at night for local people, many of whom are pensioners and pedestrianisation is only going to make this problem far far worse despite residents having warned in the past about how life is being made hell in the neighbourhood.

The most worrying thing is that despite warning local councillors that their scheme was bound to cause enormous traffic problems - Hancock's team ploughed on regardless without once consulting the city council traffic management department, who were already consulting on a nearby traffic difficulty, which had been made far far worse by this pedestrianisation scheme.

Therefore, what having the local MP as a portfolio holder on the local council means is that his constituents are effectively disenfranchised because it means that as a result they are unable to lobby Hancock for help in taking on the city council about the dreadful performance of the department because it too is unfortunately headed up by Mr. Hancock!

Hancock is HUGELY powerful yet other than ousting him via the ballot box there is absolutely no way that people can hold him accountable.

Which begs the question: Is there a conflict of interest?