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Feb 17 2017

Harrow Council’s Cabinet Meeting – February 16, 2017

This month’s cabinet meeting was back in the usual meeting rooms, after it was displaced by the disruptive filming that was taking place at the Civic Centre last month. Fortunately, that also permitted @graemeneale to stream the session live on Twitter – and you can follow him by clicking on his twitter name above.

The evening opened with a brief video top celebrate the council leaping leaping up to 153th place in the Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index – which ranks the best employers for improving equality in the workplace. Improvement was the only option, given the council was hovering around the 400th place a year ago, so it could hardly have got much worse. Top local authority for 2017 is Leicestershire County Council , which came 36th.

If you missed the evening, you can watch the video here. Be warned, the sound track seems to have been cooked up by an Ibiza DJ off his tits on coke and smack.

Movie over, we cracked on. No petitions this month, a couple of public questions, and then – a shocker – we had a Labour councillor, Cllr Barry Kendler, asking the Labour administration a question. Whether this was to burn up time in the 15 minutes allotted for Councillor Questions, a dog and pony show (more of that later) or what really wasn’t clear. But it wasted the maximum-possible five minutes or so, gave Cllr Shah a chance to puff his chest up, and almost (but not quite) came across as spontaneous. We’re not a huge fan of Cllr Kendler (and suspect we’re not the only ones who’d have difficulty in choosing between him and a dose of the salts), so when he left, within seconds of getting his pre-planned answer, it would be difficult to say anybody noticed.

The Conservatives lobbed in 90+ questions again, after getting a bit of a spanking from Leader Shah for doing exactly the same last month. However, it seems the strategy is paying off: the Labour administration have to provide written answers – far more public than 15 minutes of audio recording (when it’s not censored by the council, of course) and well worth the effort to read.

At this point, husband-and-wife duo, Cllrs Jean Lamiman and John Hinkley also seemed to have had enough, and took the opportunity to sneak out the committee room, and head off.

The surprise of the night was Cllr David Perry, ex-leader of the council, asking a few questions. Absolutely, some of them were set up, but just once or twice, Cllr Shah’s soapy grin dropped, just a smidge, leading to suspicions that the act wasn’t as friendly and chummy as it might seem at first glance. “Bloody expensive questions,” observed Cllr Paul Osborn, noting that Clly Perry was a cabinet member without portfolio – and paid rather handsomely too for those few questions.

A disappointing turnout from Roxbourne’s by-election candidates – none of them appeared to be present in the public gallery that evening.  Although if they did sneak in unobserved, we’d (a) apologise to them, and (b) like to know about it. Even more surprising that Mrs Henson wasn’t there to cheer on husband Cllr Graham – and if she gets in, at least he’s assured of another vote when he goes in for the leadership challenge that Shah could be facing.

Rumour has it that the administration may be looking to reduce the number of cabinet meetings going forward, either in an effort to reduce cost, reduce democracy, reduce flak or because they simply can’t be bothered. One or those anyway.

Other observations: Michael Lockwood, the council’s lucky Chief Executive, isn’t looking at all well these days; Cllr David Perry has either been working out or is still carrying a few pounds after the Christmas holidays; even the security guard at the back of the room was flicking through the cabinet papers with boredom.

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12 comments

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  1. Martin Lever

    What a silly review. No mention at all of what was discussed/ decided.Therefore of no use to me regarding what went on.

    1. Someonewhocares

      Well the council themselves will publish such details ‘in due course’. However these are usually heavily ‘sanitised’; Accordingly the review above -even though biased- gives a rather good indication of what *really* went on however!

  2. Concerned Harrovian

    is there a link so we can see what questions were asked and what replies were given?

    1. iharrow.com

      The councillor questions are here: http://www.harrow.gov.uk/www2/documents/b23467/Public%20and%20Councillor%20Questions%20Accepted%20Thursday%2016-Feb-2017%2018.30%20Cabinet.pdf?T=9

      Answers may (or may not…) appear within the next few weeks.

  3. red mirror

    [deleted – whilst amusing, this comment sailed too close to the wind]

    1. red mirror

      or the truth? but fair enough sir i hold you in high regard and appreciate very much providing this platform in future i will endeavour to be less broad with my brush strokes thank you and god bless.

  4. Peter Tucker

    As Cllrs John Hinckley and Jean Lamiman attended a residents meeting held in Roxbourne that evening (along with Chris Noyce) I wouldn’t be tempted to read anything adverse into an early departure.

  5. Wealdstone Warrior

    Next Cabinet meeting in March has been cancelled. Does anyone know why? Are Polly and chums having a team bonding night out?

  6. Linda Robinson

    Sachin told me it had turned out there was nothing to discuss so they’d decided to cancel it. So that’s alright then! Harrow must be running like clockwork.
    Ridiculous, but you know they wouldn’t make any sensible decisions anyway, or answer anyone’s questions candidly, so I suppose it makes no difference in the end.

  7. Wealdstone Warrior

    Really, I think the residents of Harrow have many questions to ask Polly Sachin Parrot and his chums. I have noticed his twitter account has been very quiet recently. They have been elected to serve the public and they are paid for by taxpayers money, so they should be made to have a meeting. They should be made to sit there and answer as many questions as possible from the public and other councillors. This is not democracy!

    I would like to ask Polly why all of a sudden he is keen for the streets of Harrow to be cleaned, is it to do with the future local by-elections and 2018 local elections. there’s an election coming, lets seen to be doing something, blah, blah, blah!

    Residents of Harrow, you know what to do, vote Sachin and Chums out at the next local elections!

  8. Wealdstone Warrior

    Just a thought, do you think Sachin Shah has gone on holiday for a few weeks? If anyone spots him out and about please post here. I’m very intrigued as to why the meeting has been cancelled.

    “Where’s Polly?”

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