Dec 18 2015

Municipal Journal Letters: Freedom of Information and “Tuxedo Rentals” in Harrow

harrow_council_brokenSpotted in the Municipal Journal today… We particularly liked the bit about “…in Harrow transparency’ has become something of a dirty word.”


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  1. Bill Stephenson

    Cllrs Hall and Barry Mcleod-Cullinane should remember that it is their Conservative Government which has set up a consultation on FOI based on the presumption that FOI requests are over onerous. I hope they will contribute to this consultation. Of course, they may like also to remember that the LGA is also controlled by the Conservatives. No one will be surprised by their never ending hypocrisy.

  2. Susan Hall

    In response to Bill Stephenson (Ex Harrow Labour Councillor and Leader)

    There’s no hypocrisy – both the very idea of watering down the current arrangements , as well as the LGA’s apparent support for doing as such are clearly criticised in the letter. Obviously his partisan eye was distracted by the criticism also directed towards the Council’s secretive Labour administration.

    Perhaps a better example of hypocrisy is how, when Bill was opposition leader, he argued vigorously for the opposition to chair scrutiny committees to better hold the administration to account. Then, the moment he became Council leader, he appointed people from his own benches instead – going back on a view he’d held for many years, and to the detriment of transparency and accountability.

    Going back on views and indeed promises is a trait the Harrow Labour Leadership appear to have in common

  3. Dr Bill Stephenson

    I do not think people want to get embroiled silly outdated political tit for tats. Lets stick to the issue of where Britain’s two main political parties stand on the FOI act passed by a Labour Government. The facts are simple. Tom Watson, Deputy Leader of the Labour Party, has called on the Government to withdraw its so called consultation designed to weaken the FOI Act and instead to strengthen it to give people more rights to scrutinise public bodies.
    Cllrs Hall and Mcleod-Cullinane if they are really interested in FOI should declare their support for this initiative. But I am not holding my breath.

  4. Someonewhocares

    For clarification Cllr. Hall the Scrutiny Committee is already bipartisan, is it not?
    Perhaps the best way to demonstrate all this working in practice would be to indicate what percentage of LBH FOI requests are ‘refused’ at present, and similarly what % were refused by the previous administration Cllr. Hall? Presumably this fact would not need a FOI request to establish though…
    Back to the general point of hypocrisy clearly most people do not understand the current attempts (by Government) to change the existing mechanism. If transparency is so important to us all because ‘the truth is important’ can anyone therefore explain why FOI powers and processes should be changed anyway? What are the advantages of this to the Public -if any? Is it all really a case of ‘inconvenience’ for Public Bodies in dealing with FOI requests – or in fact the usual ‘inconvenient truth’ problem?

  5. Concerned Harrovian.

    What were the occasions that needed a tuxedo because they are rather grand for meetings in the Council chamber? Were they needed for weddings, theatre visits or the notorious champagne receptions? Perhaps the councillor has a job on the side as a bullfighter! We can amuse ourselves trying to guess which councillor likes to cut a dash by kitting himself out in formal wear

    Paul can you give us a clue by indicating which party he represented? Maybe he took the word party too literally!

    1. iharrow.com

      If I recall, it was a senior officer, as opposed to a councillor. http://www.iharrow.com/council/harrow-councils-credit-card-spending-blown-wide-open/ has all the details.

  6. red mirror

    information is freely shared within the council when it is used to protect and cover up abuse and sick behavior but the people who are guilty know who i am talking about you wont get away for ever and i for one will rejoice when you’re sick ill arxxx are locked up merry christmas god bless one and all.

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