LAMBETHWATCH: HOW DEMOCRACY WORKS IN LAMBETH

HOW TO STOP LAMBETH COUNCILLORS HAVING THEIR SAY…..

The latest wheeze from Lambeth Labour to try and limit free speech even further is this:

It comes from a report to councillors at last week’s annual meeting and mayor-making at Lambeth council and was unveiled about 24 hours before the meeting rather than the traditional seven days reports usually are (or should that be were? – watch this space).

This means that it will now need FIVE councillors to ‘call in’ a decision to be considered by the much-criticised overview and scrutiny committee which has NEVER referred a call-in by any opposition councillor back to a committee.

The new chairman of overview and scrutiny committee is Cllr Donatus Anyanwu. At last week’s council meeting (during the behind closed doors part) outgoing chairman Cllr Ed Davie was at great pains to highlight how Labour councillors had ‘called in’ decisions over the past few years.

How many was that then? Er – five. Out of 58 Labour councillors. And three of them made their ‘call in’ on the same issue.

This cunning new wheeze by Lambeth Labour also means that if a Labour councillor has the courage to ‘call in’ something they will almost certainly need the help of four OPPOSITION councillors to support them. Think of the publicity!

But the clever clogs running this council hadn’t thought of that, had they?

Lambeth Labour already have a brilliant way of suppressing dissent during full council meetings.

They have a procedure which limits the number of councillors who can talk on a specific agenda item. So it’s x number of Labour councillors (chosen by the ruling regime) and x number of opposition councillors who get to speak.

And as Labour’s Vauxhall MP Kate Hoey told a pre-election meeting she chaired on the Cressingham Gardens estate in Tulse Hill: “You’re hardly allowed to speak unless you put it in advance.”

There’s also something else which many people haven’t picked up on yet – a comment made at a council committee before the council elections.

An officer revealed that an annual council report on procurement was being “vetted” by Lambeth council’s so-called ‘communications‘ team before it appeared on the official council website.

How many more reports to committees or cabinet meetings are being “vetted” by the communications team?

Cllr Tim Briggs asked why – and was told it was for “clarity and readability”.

Cllr Briggs responded: “I wish the job of policy and communications was simply to clarify – but I’m sceptical on that.”

AND ON SOCIAL MEDIA:

Would love to know what the justification for this change is. Because there are just so many legitimate reasons to make it harder for elected representatives to scrutinise decisions that affect those who elected them.

The Log Lady‏ @gamecounsel May 23 Replying to @PeoplesAudit @Jason_Cobb and 3 others

That is UTTERLY RIDICULOUS!! We wouldn’t have been able to call-in any decisions if this had been the rule for the past 4 years.

Laura Swaffield Retweeted Peoples Audit

Lambeth Labour lost no time in making its useless “scrutiny” system even harder to use. Other councils do so much better.

The Log Lady Retweeted Brockwell Tranquillity

What do you think of this @CfPS_Ed @CfPScrutiny ? We have 63 councillors: 57 Labour, five Green & one Tory. Most call-ins will emanate from non-Labour members, yet five of them now required to instigate instead of 1. Good for democracy? #Lambeth #Scrutiny

Defend The Ten Retweeted Brockwell Tranquillity‏ @BrockwellLove

Would love to know what the justification for this change is. Because there are just so many legitimate reasons to make it harder for elected representatives to scrutinise decisions that affect those who elected them.

And former Lambeth Conservative Cllr Bernard Gentry‏ Tweeted:

Clearly the. Administration are worried about Tim (Briggs – Lambeth Conservative Cllr – Ed.) calling things in.

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