Sep 07 2013

Harrow Council Leader – Sabre Rattling Commences

harrow_council_logoYou can almost hear the rattles of sabres and the occasional thud of a gauntlet being thrown down at the Civic Centre these days.

A new meeting has just been scheduled for September 16 at 7.30 for an Extraordinary Council Meeting, with just one agenda item of interest: “Leader of the Council”

You can see the entry in Harrow’s Democracy website here.

The earlier press release, from the Conservative Group, which requested this meeting can be seen here.

It’s an odd about-turn. Just three days ago, the Mayor, Cllr Nana Asante told us:

Cllr Susan Hall has, with 4 other Councillors asked for a Special Meeting to discuss leadership of the Council.  The Council’s Constitution makes it clear that the same matter should not be discussed again till 6 months have elapsed and the 6 months elapse on 23 November.  Cllr Hall’s request for a Special Council meeting can  be heard after on or 23 November.

I hope you agree that in the interests of residents, we cannot encourage instability by raising items outside due process at our whim and fancy.

Wonder what made her change her mind? Better go early to get a good seat!

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  1. Harrow cynic

    You ask what could have made the Mayor change her mind. How about the promise of a ‘safe’ Conservative seat for the Council elections in May?

  2. j p hobbs

    Not sure there is one if UKIP are standing , have you been listening to people ? I have

  3. Susan Hall

    Just for the record Harrow Cynic. Cllr Nana Asante is a true Socialist and proud to be one. She would certainly not change her views neither would we Tories ever ask her too. There has been no deal done and that is a fact. The vast majority of Councillors have strong political views and we respect each other for having them even if we do not always agree with them.

  4. Praxis Reform

    She doesn’t really have a choice, from what I understand, she can entertain the request or five councillors can make a written request and force the issue.

    I’m sure she thinks it better to address the issue now, rather than let it turn into a fight.

  5. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    she who-nana, susan or the cat’s mother?!!!!

    1. Georgia x

      Dear Cllr Stoodley,

      I believe the question in the article is ‘Wonder what made her change her mind?’.

      I suspect Praxis Reform is answering this question.

      Georgia x

  6. j p hobbs

    Another really useful comment from a Cllr .

  7. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    So who is it then J.P. Nana or Susan?

  8. j p hobbs

    NO,,,Willy , the one above who looks down upon us , yes that’s you , MY GOD !!!!!!

  9. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    I meant Praxis’ comment not yours!

  10. Georgia x

    Apparently the matter can be raised if at least a quarter of the councillors sign up to it. An thus it has made the agenda for the meeting of the 16th.

    The sad thing is, all those involved (I am talking on all sides) are just playing a game here, they are not interested in representing the people that voted for them, they are only interested in internal political wrangling.

    A battle of egos perhaps?

    This is not in the spirit of British democracy, this is just finding loop-holes so that some can advantage themselves over others.

    Quite frankly they all bring local politics into disrepute and I count Councillors of all three parties here – you are all as bad as one another.

    Perhaps it is time to look at those struggling within our community and try and do your best to be fair by all, instead of all this in-fighting which takes valuable meeting time away from Councillors who just want to get on with making Harrow work.

    Georgia x

  11. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Georgia x – that couldn’t be further from the truth. My department must introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) before October but when they presented it to Cabinet they overlooked the fact that it has to be approved by members and as the next meeting wasn’t till November we had to either hold an Extraordinary meeting in September or lose a month’s CIL money which would have cost us thousands. So we arranged Monday’s EGM for the CIL and the Tories used it as an excuse to pull the plug on ILG and challenge Thaya. They sent their 5 signatures to the Mayor’s office on Thursday but instead of allowing the Mayor’s office 5 clear working days to reply, the Director of Legal Services issued a fresh Summons with Leadership added to the agenda the nextt day (Friday) so HE could meet HIS deadline of 5 clear working days’ notice of agenda items before the meeting. So the following breaches of the constitution are accuring: 1-breach of the Mayor’s right to reply in 5 working days. 2-breach of the Mayor’s right to deem the motion to remove Thaya invalid as it is similar to a motion already heard in the last 6 months. 3-breach that invalid motions should not appear on the Summons. 4-breach that the Mayor’s interpretation of the Constitution is final. And if this motion is proposed and seconded in Chambers on Monday that will also be a breach. I don’t blame the Tories for trying it on – that is politics – but in my view, and I was a trainee lawyer in 2 different firms, the Director of Legal Services either [redacted].

    So no Georgia – we are not “in-fighting” with each other – it is the ILG fighting with a crassly inaccurate interpretation of the Constitution by the Director of Legal Services. And by god they must be worried – they’ve sought the advice of a Q.C.

    Stay tuned.

    Footnote: a portion of this comment has been removed, following legal advice. If Will would like to contact me – and he knows how to get hold of me – I can relate the whole story to him, and, of course, publish an updated version. I have never edited comments before: whilst I may not like what you say, I will fight for your right to say it. In this case, however, in the interests of my continuing good relationship with the Council, I have elected to modify the comment and censor/redact only part of it. Interested parties should contact Will Stoodley directly if they’d like the unedited text.

    – Paul

  12. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    And now the Harrow Council’s Constitution is suddenly no longer available on-line. Go Figure Georgia – still think it’s the Councillors in-fighting? This is all getting very suss…

  13. iharrow.com on Facebook

    Cllr Willy Stoodley commented on iharrow.com:

    Georgia x – that couldn’t be further from the truth….

  14. 4Democracy

    Cllr Stoodley isn’t it frustrating when no one will listen to you and policies are disregarded due to political agendas? You’ll know all about that though as when you chaired the planning committee meeting when the Vaughan School expansion was agreed how many policies were disregarded then? I’ll remind you it was 19. Yes 19, although it’s likely there were more.Did you personally bother to debate the many negative issues that were raised? No. You were more interested in using your stop watch to ensure the various speakers only spoke for 3 minutes and pressing your buzzer to alert them meaning you couldn’t concentrate on what was being said.

    Using your own phrase…it was all very suss…

    Oh and a labour member of the committee visiting the sites in his capacity as planning committee member then suddenly, a few days later, sending a reserve to take his place. Was that because he could no longer attend the meeting? Oh no, he was at the meeting speaking in favour of the application in the full knowledge the reserve had not visited the sites and so wouldn’t be fully aware of the many issues and the impact it would have on the poor residents in your own ward. He must have known the week before that he was speaking. A complete lack of morals.

    Another aspect that was very suss…. was the applicant, the councils education department asking the school to start a dirty tricks campaign, substantiated by an email that the headmaster sent to the school governors. The Director of Legal Services was equally useless when this was brought to their attention.

    Not so good when it happens to you is it?

  15. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    @ 4democracy – I was putting Georgia straight on the facts, not whinging about them. And if you think of a way of timing a speech other than looking at a stop-watch can you let me know please? (Bet you don’t though).

  16. 4Democracy

    Bet I do…..couldn’t someone do the timing for you so you can concentrate on listening and taking part in a discussion? Failing that we have a kitchen timer you could borrow!

  17. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    @ Rosalyn – sorry I mean 4democracy – I’m advised it has to be the chair. You may think that it is not possible to listen, understand, digest and take on board what someone is saying, whilst timing their speech at the same time but I would say to you don’t judge others by yourself! I myself am perfectly capable of watching and listening both at the same time! Thanks for the offer of the kitchen timer but I would prefer to stick to my Breitling. So we’ve established you DON’T know of another way of timing a speech other than looking at a stop-watch!

  18. Praxis Reform

    I’ll summarily add to my comment above, in that I think we need a bit of common sense here.

    If Harrow were a big corporation in need of being turned around, the rule of thumb would be that we’d bring in some new Director(s) give them six months to asses the situation and come up with a plan, then another six months to implement that plan.

    In the case of Independent Labour, they’ve only had about four months in office, so Cllr Hall’s grab for power can only ever be seen as an attempt to take credit for whatever work iLabour has planned before they’ve even had a chance to show us residents the direction they have chosen for Harrow.

    Had she (Cllr Hall) waited till iLabour failed to producing a convincing direction for the borough, then she would have more support, and still manage to be Council Leader in time for the next set of Local elections.

    However, I suspect the forthcoming EGM will turn out to be nothing more than the mainstream parties strangling any challenge to their authority, before a minor party has had a chance to prove itself.

  19. Cllr Willy Stoodley

    Thanks Praxis Reform – your commets will, I’m sure, be well received by ILG.

  20. Praxis Reform

    I can’t say I approve of iLabour making a pact with the Tories, but I can understand why it happened.

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