Wednesday, 21 January 2015

Labour in disarray at the town hall

This statement from the Barnet Conservative Group demonstrates how Labour aren't able to conduct themselves properly at a council meeting, yet alone run the council:
 
Labour’s failed stunt leads them to storm out of Council meeting:
Labour councillors created chaos at last night’s council meeting, even temporarily storming out of the chamber, following their misunderstanding of the constitution and a failed attempt to force a snap vote on the future delivery model of Education and Skills services.
 
Shortly after Children’s Committee Chairman Cllr Reuben Thompstone rose to speak on the item, Labour realised that two Conservative members were not present in the chamber. At this point they interrupted the speech and attempted to move that the report – referred up to Full Council by Labour to allow for a ‘full debate’ – be put straight to the vote.
 
This was in breach of the council’s constitution, which does not allow such a request to be put during a speech. However, Labour members seized on the momentary delay as the Mayor sought advice from the Monitoring Officer and began to make all sorts of accusations of impropriety and partiality, working themselves up into a rage that led to them storming out of the chamber. Some members then entered the public gallery to continue to abuse the Mayor, who had acted in full accordance with the rules.
 
In the meantime the motion was passed.
 
Labour members did return to the meeting and, following a discussion with the Monitoring Officer during the break, Cllr Alison Moore issued a half-hearted apology, admitting that her Group had got it wrong.
 
Leader of the Council, Cllr Richard Cornelius, later said:
“This really was a childish episode from the Labour Group. They tried to be opportunistic, but showed that they do not understand the constitution.
 
“Is this how they think education policy should be decided – on the basis of who has nipped to the loo? I don’t think parents would be too pleased with their approach.
 
“They referred the item to Full Council, supposedly, to enable a full debate, but then tried to shut this debate down after a matter of seconds. Clearly they are referring items in the hope of pulling off the kind of stunt they attempted last night.
 
“The important thing is that the paper was passed. The recommendations were based on strong evidence and it is a shame that we didn’t have the opportunity to explain again in public why it is the right thing to do for young people in the borough.”
 
The report recommends that a full business case be produced for two joint-venture models for the Education and Skills Service. Work completed to date shows that these options are the only ones which ensure excellence in the service, a continued strong relationship between schools and the council, and can achieve the necessary savings targets. The models also received public support from a representative of primary school head teachers at the committee meeting earlier in the month.

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