Thursday, June 26, 2008

Harmony ...and dischord
Above is an extract from the official Greenwich Council Record of Decisions, circulated today. It's one of those very rare things in Greenwich- a Conservative-proposed motion passed, unamended, with the support of all parties. The full text of the motion is available by opening the document from the link above.

Whilst I'm very pleased by my motion making it onto our version of the statute book, the cross-party harmony didn't last long. Immediately afterwards we moved onto discuss a motion proposed by my colleague Spencer Drury, the Leader of the Opposition, condemning the Council's Cabinet for its scandalous failure to submit a response to the consultation on hospital closures in our area (see story here).

As we have come to expect from Labour, any hint of criticism is swiftly crushed, and so after a self-justifying sermon from Cllr Angela Cornforth (the relevant Cabinet Member), they tabled an amendment deleting any criticism and replacing it with worthy sentiments which ignored the central allegation against them - the lateness of their response. They then pushed this amendment through with a procedural motion that prevented debate on it.

This may sound technical, but it meant the motion we debated bore no resemblance to the one we submitted. Several of my colleagues were therefore ruled out of order by the Mayor for trying to debate the Cabinet's failure to stick up for the people of the Borough on the vital issue of our local health services. Once more, Labour used their majority on the Council to stifle proper debate.

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