Why did I ask that Lynne Stagg (and Steve Pitt) be present at my meeting with Vernon-Jackson? Because she has the kind of local knowledge that Gerald Vernon-Jackson lacks.
Among other things, I am a former board member of the Environmental Chemistry (and Toxicology) Section of the Royal Netherlands Chemical Society.
Shortly after my move to Portsmouth at the start of 2009, I joined the Portsmouth Environmental Forum – installed and supported by Portsmouth City Council – but it folded within about a year. Lib Dem City Councillor Lynne Stagg was a member of it, as was Lib Dem City Councillor Darren Sanders. So was Nick Walton of the University of Portsmouth, very briefly; he joined after I did.
PCC’s Jane Di Dino was the one who placed the ad that I responded to; she also clerked for the Forum for a while. Georgina Melton was also one of the members as was the locally well-known slightly timid guy who managed to get the 20-kilometre zones implemented; I think his name is or was Charles Burns. There were a number of members from Farlington and Drayton as well as a few others from Southsea and Fratton.
I am also one of the 11 graduates of the PCC-sponsored and NCFE-accredited community leadership course called “Taking the Lead”.
It was a national pilot, so I understood; it was cut short by austerity. The graduation ceremony was supposed to take place at the Spinnaker Tower but was moved to Aspex. PCC CEO David Williams – still PCC CEO – was present, I think. Eh, no, only James Sandy, probably; he is in Birmingham these days. Certainly present was the then mayor, but she appeared to be a little uncomfortable around foreign individuals.
Tony Quinn was also part of this bunch of 11 graduates; I already knew him as he served as the clerk for the Portsmouth Environmental Forum for a while but his main role was in scrutiny at PCC. He is no longer with PCC. He is a Scot, I think, who used to be with the railroad police. While chatting with us, I have heard him talk about how his lower-class background had held him back (the self-limiting mindset that it installs in lower-class people in the UK).
(Steve Pitt told me that he had wanted to participate too but that he would enroll the following year. I don’t think he was a City Councillor yet at the time, let alone Deputy City Council Leader.)
Part of the advice given during that course was not to be too loud, not to stir the pot too much, but instead sweet-talk people and do things like collect lots of signatures. In my experience, if all you do is sweet-talk people and kiss their asses, nothing ever really changes and you promote and support the status quo.
When I later tried to use one of the PCC website features Tony Quinn had mentioned and that was supposed to give people a say but was rarely used, I found out why the latter was the case. It wasn’t functional… (I checked a few months ago; it still isn’t.)
I recorded this on 7 October 2021.
The hacker has added “German subtitles” to this video on YouTube: