Posts Tagged ‘Borough Council’

That was a long Borough Council Meeting

January 30, 2008

Well, got home at 11:20pm as the meeting did not finish until around 10:45pm.  Click here for a link to the agenda.

A majority of the meeting was spent on agenda item 7 as the Labour Group tabled sixteen amendments.  I also tabled a motion, which was seconded by Councillor Paul Fisher from the Community Group.  This motion pointed out that were Borough Council to accept all of the amendments it would reduce the amount of efficiency savings by £675,800.  Fortunately, all of the amendments were rejected by Borough Council and were seen by most of us as frivolous.

To watch & listen to any of the debates, click here.

Update: On the Brentford TW8 Forum, my Executive colleague Councillor Phil Andrews (Leader of the Community Group), said the following earlier today:

“New Labour spent two hours trying to persuade us to retain posts which were already unfilled and in many cases had been for several years.  There seemed to be a contest between cronies to see who could table the most absurd amendment. 

IMHO the opposition has lost any of the credibility which it would need in order to make a case when the real debate has to be had in March.  The only credible opposition these days is coming from the Lib Dems and John Connelly (although the latter wasn’t there last night). 

I don’t know why I feel embarrassed for New Labour.  I am not, after all, a member of their party.  But the word is that many of their people on the ground are unhappy with their performance, and it isn’t difficult for the neutral observer to appreciate why.

I strongly recommend the webcast.”

I agree with what Phil says.  I thought that the 2002-2006 Labour administration performed terribly in the Chamber and were frequently unable to answer questions, exacerbated by a subsequent failure to follow up on questions or requests for information.  The Labour Group has proved itself to be even less effective in opposition.

Before I am accused of being excessively partisan, I would say two things:

  1. If you get a chance, watch the webcast, and judge for yourself.
  2. I have previously acknowledged that there were/are a number of exceptions.  When I first took an interest in the Council, I thought that the former Labour Leader, John Connelly (Hounslow Heath), was excellent in the Chamber and was keen and willing to answer questions.  Amongst the previous Executive, I thought that Amrit Mann (Heston East) was very impressive indeed and had a real understanding of his portfolio.  He too was impressive in the Chamber.  There were others too such as Valerie Lamey & Ron Bartholomew who made some good contributions to debate.  John Cooper (Feltham West) is very good at West Area Committee.  Of the 2006 intake in the Labour Group, I have taken a liking to both Matt Harmer (Brentford) & Lily Bath (Hounslow Central) – they make constructive argument and, more generally, give me the impression that they are getting stuck into the role of representing their constituents.  This matters more than party politics.  [I am beginning to digress a little]…

I do not have a beef with anyone personally in the Labour Group but every tier of Government really needs good opposition.