HAVE LAMBETH COUNCILLORS AND OFFICERS BREACHED THEIR OWN CODE OF CONDUCT?
In his lengthy resignation letter as chairman of the Leasehold council – please see separate story – Stephen Gyte says councillors AND officers have also breached Lambeth council’s OWN code of conduct.
“Part 1 of the Member code of conduct states:
‘When acting in my official capacity as a member or co-opted member of Lambeth council I have a responsibility to represent the community and work constructively with our staff and partner organisations to secure better social, economic and environmental outcomes for all.’
“Section 5.2 of the Officer Code of conduct states that Members of the public have the right to expect courtesy and co-operation at all times:
As a council employee you must: treat others with respect; not discriminate unlawfully against any person; and, treat members and co-opted members of the authority professionally.”
RESIDENT ENGAGEMENT PANEL
The story also mentions Resident Engagement. Lambeth council describe the panels thus:
“Residents engagement panel
Resident Engagement Panels (REP) are an important part of how Lambeth council engages with residents affected by the estates regeneration programme. Each REP is different depending on the each estate; however there are common factors that apply to all – they are:
That the council can give information to the panel to enable them to understand the background to regeneration options – subject to data-protection and Freedom of Information restrictions.
Allows residents to have their say on issues affecting them.
To act as a sounding board for council officers and council members so they can understand issues from a resident perspective.
To provide feedback on the feelings on the estate regarding current activities and council proposals and feedback from a resident perspective on recent engagement activities.
To question the council on its proposals and test whether other courses of action have been explored or could be explored.
To advise on how best to engage with residents generally and with different resident groups.
To highlight issues arising and sensitivities from a resident’s perspective.
To help to identify how residents can influence processes and proposals.
To comment on delivery strategy – design, phasing, construction, etc.
The panels are not decision-making bodies within the council structure. Nevertheless, they have an important role to play in relation to consultation, ensuring the views of residents on the estate are considered when decisions by the council are made.”
DON’T ANSWER THE QUESTION!
There’s a new tactic among Labour cabinet members at Lambeth council. It’s called ‘Don’t answer the question’.
So it’s not just opposition councilors who don’t get given the answer – neither do the ratepayers.
Among the questions at last week’s council meeting at Elm Green school, Elmcourt Road, West Norwood were one on parking from Cllr Bernard Gentry (Con. Clapham Common) and one from Cllr Tim Briggs (Con. Clapham Common) on regeneration.
In both cases the councillors complained their question had not been answered – or had been avoided.
(If you’re a Labour councilor asking the question, it’s not a problem. If the cabinet didn’t want to give an answer on that then the Labour councilor concerned would not have been allowed to ask the question in the first place.)
CLLR SCOTT AINSLIE
Cllr Scott Ainslie’s absence was noted by one Labour councilor who asked sotto voce: “Why don’t I represent his constituents?”
The answer to the unknown councillor is you wouldn’t. Cllr Scott Ainslie, along with Conservative oppositioon leader Cllr Tim Briggs, are having to represent a lot of people in various Labour-held wards in Lambeth because the Labour councillors there do not do the job they were elected to do: represent their constituents.
A phrase mentioned recently to News From Crystal Palace. Back in 2011 Eric Pickles mentioned it in connection with Labour councils. The communities secretary was angry about councils blaming spending cuts on ministers…..
Further Reading – (Google): The Parade of Bleeding Stumps by Adam Shaw – American Thinker July 15th 2010. (Interesting comments about British civil servants – Ed.)
Pickles accuses councils of ‘bleeding stump strategy’ by Brian Wheeler, political reporter, BBC News 5th March 2011