For those unaware, Greenwich Council operates a Cabinet system of local government. In that system one councillor each year is inaugurated as the Mayor and should be chosen from across the political spectrum. The Mayor's role, whilst ceremonial, is also non-political and embodies the concept of impartiality. Well, that's what's supposed to happen but this is Greenwich.
A good example of the problem as come to light in the last week where the Mayor, Cllr Harry Singh, has cancelled the full Council Meeting for September after, what looks like, a private discussion with the political leadership of the Council. We're not sure what's worse really, that the Mayor's Office is utterly compromised by politics, or that the Council has decided that they don't need to meet and discuss any issues.
For anyone wondering, the next time the Council will meet in the Chamber, according to the schedule, is on the 29th November. The last full Council meeting was the 26th July. When that happens it unlikely there will be another meeting during 2006 which will take the total meetings for the year to, by our reckoning, five. Apparently the justification for this is that there is nothing to talk about!
What they actually mean is that there's too much to talk about, and most of it's not good. If they cancel the meeting then they close down discussion of awkward issues of the past two months. For example, we have the utter failure of the IT systems
; we have the rather minor worries surrounding the casino
bid; calls from Parliament for a Standards Inquiry
into the Council by the LGA; there's the incredibly poor performance
of Council pensions; the dramatic failure to hit rent arrears targets
, not to mention a serious failure to register interests
We wonder if we can withhold a percentage of our Council Tax on the basis that if there's no Council business they don't need the money? No, we didn't think so.
Labels: Harry Singh, Mayor