Oct 24 2013

Council Members called for Independent Legal Advice/Judicial Review

Press comment from Harrow Independent Labour group:

Members at the Extraordinary Council meeting tonight (24 October) called for Independent Legal Advice/Judicial Review.

Independent Labour Chairperson, Cllr Krishna James, said:

“Independent Labour will always put Harrow First. Many members were very concerned about the legality o 16 September. They called upon this Council to seek independent legal advice or Judicial Review of the legality of the 16 September Council meeting so that the residents of the Borough can be assured that this Council takes its responsibility to uphold the Constitution and Rule of Law seriously – which is not waste of time or laughing matter

In accordance with the constitution, 5 Councillors, asked the Mayor to call a meeting to discuss the constitution. Contrary to the ignorance of Labour spokesperson, elected Members are expected to deal with serious issues which concern the welfare of people. The possible illegality of the Administration and its decisions, the Constitution and Rule of Law are fundamental in a democracy.”

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  1. GetOverIt

    Cllr James needs to get over the fact that the Conservatives are now in power. I believe she was the only ILG member who did note vote for Susan Hall and if the rest of the ILG felt as strongly as she did then why did they not refuse to vote – indeed why did she not refuse !

    Perhaps it would be more helpful if she helped the new administration to deliver the positive changes that we are now seeing rather than whingeing about the constitution which the vast majority of Harrow residents don’t care about – we just want a better Harrow which the Conservatives seem to have made a decent start in achieving.

  2. Krishna Lathia-James

    Get over it I abstained as I could never vote tory for destroying lives of people who suffer from mental ill health. No consideration is given to anything else but self interest. The CEO on Harrow is given marching orders just when he is bereaved,talk about a double loss. Cant help wondering if it is anything to do with him looking into Institutional racism at the council, that does not let off the two main parties. Historically in harrow council BAME councillors have been good enough to be Mayors but not Portfolio Holders. If one looks at the co-operate directors one can see they do not represent Harrow’s diversity. Susan can protest at this all she likes but the CEO was right in connecting with the issue and addressing it. It is high time all at Harrow Council learned to call a spade a spade.Get over it Getoverit, it is about due process in a democracy. I am perhaps more fussy about democracy because I was growing up in Kenya when she was fighting for independence. You do not forget lessons learnt in adversity perhaps you and some
    people ate taking the hard earned freedoms won by your for fathers for granted.

    Cllr krishna-Lathia-James

  3. King David

    Get over it, is probably a Tory member and even if not perhaps he would prefer to go and live in a place without rule of law or playing by rules?. Tories can never have fairer boroughas they claim unless they resolve the potential illegality of their administration by seeking an independent legal advice as demanded by Lib Dem cllr who is a solicitor, Independent Cllrs, a Tory party councillor who is a solicitor and Independent Labour cllrs in the Council chamber tonight.

  4. Timeforchange

    Who would pay for a Judicial Review ,I understand they can be very costly?

  5. All things Good

    I am neither a Tory or Labour supporter and can only go on what I know. Labour did not put residents first when it put up the Council tax this year, and when I sought help from the labour leader of the council he chose not to involve himself in matters that were clearly serious. There have been laws broken in the Council before, but again Council officers and Cllrs from Tory and Labour chose not to help instead doing everything in their power to cover it up. What I see now is 2 things, firstly a desperate attempt by Labour to get back into power, and wanting to waste probably taxpayers money on a Judicial review. Secondly, Susan Hall who responds to posts on here and actually appears to do something about it! I have lived in Harrow a long time, and have never known a leader of the Council to interact with the residents the way Susan does. If Susan continues the way she has done so far then I am more than happy for her to stay as Leader, regardless of what political party she is affiliated to!

  6. GetOverIt

    Cllr Krishna James, I admire your “fussiness” for democracy based on your background, however I am at a bit of a loss regarding your comments on racism and diversity – off topic I think, although I understand there is to be an investigation into the allegations which has been welcomed by Thaya.

    You need to look at the facts here, “All things Good” sums it up well. It is irrelevant what party you support, the evidence is clear as to who is looking after Harrow residents and who is now regretting the split in the Labour party and desperately trying to get back into power.

    Councillor Paul Osborne is quoted in the Harrow Times as saying;” … clauses of the constitution were regularly suspended for the annual budget meeting”, so this case is not unique.
    Surely the important thing is that the decision to suspend the clauses was taken to ensure that the council could continue to function and drive things forward rather than continue to flounder as it was under the control of the ILG.

    I also don’t think the CEO has been given his marching orders but that a 30 day consultation is to commence proposing to scrap the role of Chief Executive – I don’t think this is directed towards Michael Lockwood but to the need for the position of a CEO.

  7. Susan Hall

    Just to answer some points raised here. I have asked for independent legal advice on the proceedings of the Council of 16th. This will be done as a matter of urgency. This in no way means that I do not trust the advice that was given but if there is any doubt from residents or Councillors then it is essential that the position is clarified one way or another. I am happy that the findings are published. A Judicial review is certainly not an option for many reasons not least the cost to Harrow taxpayers.

    With regard to the racism charges regarding the Council I have long been asking for an independent assessment and have discussed with a very senior member of staff, this has been agreed and will be done as a matter of urgency.

    ‘all things good’ – if you still have an issue please e mail me directly susanmaryhall@gmail.com please bear with me as for the first time in 7 years of being a Councillor I am having problems answering very quickly, the e mails are coming in thick and fast and I am having problems answering in what I regard a timely fashion.

    I always watch this site and am particularly interested in the comments of residents. You are the ones that put your faith in us and vote and we are grateful for your support and I speak for all the parties and independents on this. We are here to represent you but I always say that there is something that must be borne in mind. When we get into senior positions we have to make decisions that do not suit everyone, all too often it is impossible to please everyone, it is a balancing act and we can only do our best whilst being mindful of the need to keep within budget. If we ignore the budget then you all have to pay – unacceptable.

    I will continue to watch this site and answer as best I can the concerns of our residents.

  8. King David

    Cllr Susan Hall.Grateful for your contribution and feedback. I think it is in everyones interest to seek a clear independent legal advice not from council legal team or contracted or asdociated solicitors. I have never seen Harrow Council’s reputation as is now- lowest ebb. As for independent invetigation into institutional racism i hope the terms of reference scope and the person are fairly agreed and appointed. In my experience of knowing matters relaying to Council there are many employees who feel intimidated discriminated against but are too scared to speak out due to fear of consequences. I hope at least locally Toies will show clearcommitment to equality and take a stand against discrimination of any kind even if it means unpalattable or difficult decision even at some cost. Given demography and fairness it is in Tory parties interest to be fearless on this critical matter.

  9. krishna lathia-james

    King David great to see that at last someone else is picking up on what I have observed over the last 6 years. First observation was make up pf the council elected members in both parties and token representation for window dressing. Suffice to say this selective racism is costing Harrow dearly. If some of the most talented people of harrow are excluded hoe can harrow thrive. Politicians of all hues are quick to take credit for school results so where does all the talent go – are you getting it now Bill ? King David you simply confirm the feelings of intimidation that have been brought to my notice
    Cllr Krishna Lathia-James

  10. Jeremy Zeid Chairman Harrow UKIP

    And how much is this posturing costing especially as those making this challenge are most vociferous about the “cuts” and lack of funds? A complete waste as is a by election so close to next year’s locals and Euros

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