Monday, June 26, 2006

Jobs for the boys

At the beginning of every Council term the jobs are divvied up between the sitting Councillors. From Committee chairmen, to quango executive, there should be enough for everyone to go around. In the interests of good governance you'd hope that some of these roles would be evenly split on a cross-party level, however we're sad to say this isn't the case. Machiavellian positioning and party politics rule supreme in this arena.

This point was beautifully illustrated last week when the ruling Labour Group insisted on appointing it's own "yes men" to the Community Centre Management Committee for Middle Park. We should point out that Middle Park and Sutcliffe is a split ward with two Liberal Democrats and one Labour councillor. The management committee had two places on it so you'd expect at least one of them to go to a Liberal Democrat councillor, wouldn't you? We're sad to tell you the answer is no.

Instead, the Greenwich nomenklatura decided that, rather than give one of the places on the committee to the elected Liberal Democrat for the ward, it would give the place to a Labour bod from a different ward instead. From what we can tell the Tories abstained on this issue which seemed odd to us. After all, it seems an issue of principle rather than party politics, but as we speculated and were then told, the Tories are split down the middle. Having said this even if they had voted in support of the Liberal Democrats it probably wouldn't have made much difference, Labour numbers dominate the chamber.

Don't be disheartened though people. Democracy is alive and well, it's just not living in Greenwich.


Anonymous Paul Webbewood said...

Labour behaved as badly as I would expect, but I was disappointed with the Tory silence. However the dynamic Liberal Democrat duo showed that we don't bear grudges as we later supported Eileen Glover's attempt to get one of the two places on the Green Chain Joint Committee.

3:58 pm  
Anonymous nairobi said...

I've been trying to become a Governor at a local Greenwich school for several years now. There are vacancies that need to be filled but apparently these are 'earmarked' for political nominees. As I refuse to join or be adopted by a political party, the spaces remain unfilled. What a joke.

3:31 pm  
Blogger Cllr Andy Jennings said...

Nairobi: Have you tried the one stop governors shop? The school at which I have been chairman of governors for the past five years (Invicta School) had vacancies that we have successfully filled from those who have sent their CVs in to them. Each governing body has spaces for community governors - i.e. non-parent, non-teacher, non-political appointments, and I believe that there are several vacancies for primary governors in the Borough. If you are after a secondary school then it is a lot more diffuicult (mainly because there are a lot less secondary schools).

You can download the application form here:

10:55 pm  
Anonymous nairobi said...

Hi Andy

Thanks for your reply. Yes, I did apply through the OSS, both times, and I would highly recommend them. The lovely Pamala from OSS was a great help throughout.

Anyway I'm now accepted, subject to a few minor details such as the name of the school on my acceptance letter not matching the name of the school to which I'd agreed to be a governor, my surname being misspelt, etc. etc... nothing that can't be sorted!

1:03 pm  

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