Another 4000 reasons to punish Labour

A Special Meeting of the Borough Council was called last night.  There is a provision within the Council Procedure Rules for a number of Councillors to do this.  The likes of Councillors Connelly and Sharma were signatures.

Here is the agenda.

Not one Councillor justified why it was necessary to call a Special Meeting for this, which is important as it costs approximately £4000 to have a Borough Council Meeting.  Whilst I do not put a price on democracy, residents have a right to know why certain Independents and Labour felt it necessary to call a Special Meeting for this.  Why did they not propose a motion at any of the scheduled meetings during the past four years and why was it so urgent that needed to be decided just over a week before Local Elections?  Or have I just answered my own question?

The performance of Councillors Sharma, Cadbury and Vaught was especially poor and unpleasant, indeed none of them were willing to take an intervention from me when they were speaking.  I wonder why that was?

Feel free to take a look at the agenda and decide whether you believe that last night was appropriate?  No justification was given for last night’s urgency.

Update: See here for an article about this.

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7 Responses to “Another 4000 reasons to punish Labour”

  1. Mark Savage Says:


    For starters, I’m probably one of many, Mark, who was not aware that existing councillors remain in office until after the local elections. I’d assumed that you and all your erstwhile colleagues were back to being orrdinary Joes and Josephines again until May 7th. Why is this? MPs cease to be MPs at the end of a parliament; shouldn’t that be the case at the end of a council term?

    As to the subject matter and the need for a meeting at this stage, it beggars belief. If the relevant councillors wanted to make a point about the Middle East situation, wouldn’t they do so far more effectively through national channels or via party representatives and prospective councillors locally in the case of Labour, rather than wasting public money in this way? If only they could be asked to give back the cost of a special meeting in the same way as MPs expenses!

  2. Gaham de wey peters Says:

    Was that it ???? £4000 just to talk about ,
    “This council welcomes the re-establishment of the Hounslow-Ramallah Town Twinning Association and agrees that the body be formally recognised by the Council as its representative twinning organisation”.

    as in the words of a certain journalist ” you couldn’t make it up !!! “

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      I share any anger with those who are angry about certain Councillors calling this meeting. Whether there is one or ten agenda items, the cost of holding a Borough Council tend to be the same.

  3. Leon Says:

    I think its just as bad for you to have bought this up in the middle of an election campaign. Mark, all you are trying to do is score points, nothing else.

    As the deputy leader of the council if it bothers you that much, that meetings costing £4000 can be arranged at the drop of the hat by so few people, then why haven`t you taken action to change the rules???

    I`m sure quite a few conservative councillors have also called unnecessary meetings aswell. I wont be voting in this coming election because all the parties are as bad as each other.

    • Mark Bowen Says:

      Bad of me to comment on my blog about something that has happened? Are you going to complain to brentfordtw8 also?

      “why haven`t you taken action to change the rules???”

      Because the provision within Council Procedure Rules is there for a good reason, namely there maybe times when a special meeting is required as a matter of urgency. This is the first time that the spirit has been broken.

      “I’m sure quite a few conservative councillors have also called unnecessary meetings aswell.”

      Feel free to post a link to show readers of my blog when this has happened.

  4. Dale Says:

    To all those aghast at this meeting taking place; you are missing the more important point here. The question should be why it costs £4000 to hold a Borough Council Meeting in the first place? Is the cost attributed to the fact that we are in an election period or is this the normal cost for such a meeting? Please enlighten me. If this is the normal cost of a Borough Council Meeting then surely this should be evaluated (it seems rather high to me) rather than evaluating the worthiness of a particular issue as there will always be contrasting opinions to different issues. This issue may not be important to you and you may not think it is important to the residents of Hounslow but have you thought that this issue might be a pressing one for local residents in Hounslow and Ramallah?

    I’ll provide you with some quotes from Cllr Thompson which I find poor.
    “Re-establishing this twinning arrangement after years of inactivity will not help the people of Hounslow and won’t help the situation.” Quote from Cllr Peter Thompson, taken from
    Is the above quote a fact or just an opinion Cllr Thompson expresses? Is Cllr Thompson best placed to make these judgements?

    “The role of the Council is to serve residents from all communities, including our relatively small Jewish population…. Do they have clear support from any Jewish organisations in Hounslow?” Quote from Cllr Peter Thompson, taken from
    Why has he singled out just the Jewish population and organisations in his rhetoric? Has he consulted these Jewish organisations to obtain their opinions on the matter? Come to that does he understand the politics in the Middle East? Does he know about the city of Ramallah? Incidentally Ramallah has Christian population of roughly 25% and the Mayor is a Roman Catholic women. Not so simple is it.
    I hope Cllr Thompson is not assuming that Jewish organisations in the Borough will be against this twinning as that would be a massive generalisation?

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