Jun 10 2014

Susan Says: Labour’s First Decision: Strangle Opposition and Stifle Scrutiny

susan_hall_3The first decision of Harrow’s Labour Group – likely to form the Council’s administration from Thursday – has been revealed, and it’s not good for fans of transparency and openness. Immediately after the Council elects its Leader at Thursday’s Annual meeting, the Labour Group will try to remove non-executive members from Cabinet, and will remove the right of the opposition to chair Scrutiny committees – going back on a cross-party agreement made before the election. Under the previous Conservative and Independent Labour administrations, members of opposition parties sat on Cabinet – and were therefore able to question members in depth – and also chaired Scrutiny committees. All parties agreed and voted to keep this going whatever the results of May’s election

Conservative Group Leader Cllr. Susan Hall was a non-executive member on Independent Labour’s Cabinet, and said: “It’s utter cowardice, plain and simple. We had a deal with Cllr. Perry that whoever won the election would keep non-executive members – indeed the week after the election Labour asked who we wanted them to appoint, but now they’re furiously backtracking. Labour’s dishonourable change of heart is proof they’re running scared – no doubt worried about their ability to handle challenging questions and additional scrutiny. Labour are deliberately and cynically making it harder for the democratically elected opposition to do our job.”

[pullquote align=”left|center|right” textalign=”left|center|right” width=”30%”]”Cllr. Perry and his colleagues are capable of talking balls… presumably to make up for not having any!”[/pullquote]Cllr. Hall added: “We had three non-executive members on our last Cabinet – I’m on record as being in favour of the practice, and we absolutely would have continued with it had we won in May. Labour promised a ‘more open and transparent Council’ in their manifesto, so clearly Cllr. Perry and his colleagues are capable of talking balls – presumably to make up for not having any!”

Cllr. Paul Osborn, who has been both Chairman and Vice-Chairman of Overview & Scrutiny, said: “This is a new low for Labour in Harrow. It is a weak and gutless move. They first proposed the idea of the opposition chairing Scrutiny in 2010, when they were in opposition, but they then took all the Scrutiny chairs for themselves the moment they came to power weeks later. When they found themselves in opposition again last September – after nine of their most senior members quit – Labour suddenly rediscovered their belief in having an opposition councillor as Chairman of Scrutiny. We changed the Constitution to ensure this would continue whoever won the election. Now, within weeks of supporting our move, Labour are back in power – so once again abandon all their principles and honour by taking all the chairmanships.”

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  1. Dame Betty

    Important as the internal workings of the Council are (Scrutiny, Cabinet), at present the main concern of the community is who will be the 1st Citizen of Harrow, (the person who goes out to them). They would like the Deputy Mayor who has served one year as Deputy Mayor, not someone who has not.

  2. Melanie

    Hahaha!Oh my days! Hysterical! Susan Hall complaining about Labour reneging on deals and having no balls. Talk about “Dear Pot…..Love Kettle”. Oh dear, I haven’t laughed so much in ages!Good one,Cllr Susie!Hahaha

  3. Concerned Harrovian

    Any news from David Perry about filming council meetings. Ricky 123 has already volunteered to do the job. Why would the offer not be accepted in the interests of transparency?

    Residents need to know how decisions are arrived at and what is being debated. We do not local government that is conducted in secrecy behind closed doors. We voted you in and we can vote you out.

  4. Susan Hall

    Melanie so happy I have made you laugh, you are normally so bitter.

    Dame Betty. The Labour group decided to put Ajay Maru as Mayor from their first group meeting post election. A thoroughly nice chap but clearly he has not been a deputy Mayor. We have two very experienced Councillors who have been the deputy Mayor with years of experience behind both of them. Councillors Chris Mote and Camilla Bath. Both have held Cabinet positions have chaired hundreds of meetings and would bring experience to this most important role. Chris was an excellent Leader and I feel that the position of Mayor should be worked for and earned through years of service to our Borough. This is what the Labour group have always said, when they have been in opposition. How things change when they are in power. They have gone back on so many agreements that they were only too happy to make when they were in opposition, its shameful

    1. Don't trust wolves in sheep clothing

      Why are we being sold Chris Mote when Camilla is the current deputy mayor and clearly loved, trusted and experienced. Suddenly, we are being patronised by being told what is best for us. Camilla has wide support and clearly engages well with everyone. Councillors self serving interests should not influence who is next mayor. We are all watching and there will be consequences for every action

  5. Steve Wright

    Sign of the times I’m afraid! The residents of Harrow have been well and truly duped by the Lies of the Labour party from Freezing Council Tax for three years (which they did not) to claiming they built 1000 new homes in the borough during their three years in office (they actually built no homes at all!). Then on the doorsteps they claimed as their own everything that was achieved by Independent Labour and the Conservative Administration. Lies, lies and more lies. With the bunch of labour left wingers voted in this time watch out for more loony policies.

  6. Someonewhocares

    First thing that sprang to mind Cllr. Hall after reading this was STOP THE SQUABBLING already!

    Second thing was wondering what changes a majority Conservative administration would impose – and would they be any worse than this? We all realise that various ‘deals’ and ‘compromises’ were made with the Independent Labour lot – you know, that now non-existent group –because such ‘arrangements’ were ‘necessary’ due to the temporary ‘coalition’ – and which overall really did not help residents one bit!

    Third thing is what you have to fear from Scrutiny – and finally with that in mind the whole ‘Lockwood’ fiasco and associated events!

    Fourth thing is most residents really don’t care that much who is Mayor now as long as they try to STOP THE SQUABBLING like the previous Mayor did!

  7. John Clement

    This is whjat happens when the electorate vote on deferential, racial grounds rather than assessing the merits of who is good for Harrow. Given the Borough demographics we will never ever have an administration other then Labour, so they know they have carte blanche to do whatever they want no matter hoew unfair and against the public interest. Harrow is finished all good people should move out.

    1. Don't trust wolves in sheep clothing

      Someone brave enough to voice the truth, but surely John if we keep moving for them, we will end up in the sea. This island isn’t that big. This only gives UKIP fuel to keep their fire burning.

  8. Concerned Harrovian

    Harrow voters also cast votes for two candidates with criminal convictions. These voters must have been unaware of this and just voted along party lines instead of considering just who they were voting into office. Fortunately neither of this candidates had enough votes to be elected. Harrow would have become a laughing stock if these two had been successful.

  9. Harrow Dude

    Susie can you inform us exactly when and at what council meeting this cross-party agreement was made so that we can check for ourselves. However it is of no surprise that the Labour Group are refusing to have you anywhere near their Cabinet, look what happened to the last party that got into bed with you. Like a Praying Mantis after they had served your purpose you bit off their head.

    As I recall you joined the ILG to “steady the ship” so I do not think your navigational skills will be required by the Labour Group.
    Susie it really is time to stop the whole “Hall’s got balls” mantra before it turns into “Hall’s talking balls”

    1. john wayne gacy

      i wonder why sonoo isn’t calling susie a man hater for mentioning balls one way traffic with her im afraid yeah dude sue should give up the ghost pleassssssse so ver for her jeeeeeez some people dont know when there whipped man

  10. Yogesh

    Hello to all concerned Harrovians with no names – could you please identify your self with real names so that we can all address you properly rather then hiding behind a facade.

    I am sure residents of Harrow will be able to provide you with correct information and guide you to become better citizens.

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