Sunday 29 April 2012

Ann John makes a bid to be Brent's Humpty Dumpty

Ann John, the leader of Brent Council is quoted in the Kilburn Times as saying that the report on licensing of free literature is clear and purely about preventing litter.

It wasn't clear to the Council's communication team who issued an apology to the Times for 'issuing an inaccurate statement' on which the Times report was based. Michael Read, Assistant Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services had to write to the Times to 'clarify any confusion' about the 'clear' report.

And of course Brent's own 'Mr Confused', Cllr Powney, accused us of 'inventing a campaign' when in fact the Council had misinformed the public with their original 'inaccurate' statement.

What is clear is that the only reference to exemptions in the document is:

3.4 These powers do not apply to materials promoting charities, for religious purposes or for political purposes.

So now Cllr Ann John throws her own interpretation into the ring by saying , in response to concerns voiced by Tony Antonio chairman of Brent Safer Neighbourhoods, that their literature does not not fall into the exempt category because they are a group of volunteers, not a charity, that 'The exemptions include community safety literature'.

This is just not true if you look at 3.4 above which are the only exemptions listed. Nowhere does the document mention 'community safety literature'.  This illustrates the problem and the weakness  that campaigners have been highlighting. It is not good enough for Ann John, James Powney or any officer to make up exemptions as they go along with nothing in writing. This opens the way to political, social, generational or even ethnic bias and potential legal action.

Ann John puts herself in the position of Humpty Dumpty in Through the Looking Glass:
  "When I use a word," Humpty Dumpty said, in a rather scornful tone, "it means just what I choose it to mean - neither more nor less."
"The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."
"The question is," said Humpty Dumpty, "which is to be master - that's all."


Trevor said...

Yes Miss John...but my question Is it only now you see free leafleting as a litter problem?
and pushing ahead with your Ideas do you really think it will solve the litter problem?
also Miss John, How do you propose dealing with the problem of charging people council tax for drain clearing which actually isn't being done?
Yes Miss John The public are being forced to pay for work that isn't being done...I have see it with my own two eyes...and when I recently spoke to two drain cleaning people, I was told that it is impossible for them to go around and clear every drain in the borough.
so that means some drains are literally being left to become completely blocked...while some are being cleared...That's not good enough for me Mis John...especially since you are obviously trying to give the impression of being concerned about the litter caused by people that hand out leaflets in the borough.
well how about showing some concern about the blocked drains that are not being cleared?
if the drains are deliberatly being left blocked by the people that are employed to clear them, then how about reducing the council tax?
afterall why should we be forced to pay for work that isn't being done?

The Local Don. said...

Trevor, your Council Tax contributions keep the Brent Council machine working and its employees in a job. These jobs include making rules that least benefit you and should you not comply result in some sort of fine.

The Local Don.

Trevor said...

Thanks for responding...I just Think the council needs to recognize that it is failing with it comes to keeping it's side of the arrangement.
I mean if we are forced by Law to pay for work that is meant to be carried out regardless of how long it takes etc, and yet that isn't being carried out properly, that does not seem fair or lawful to me.
Don't get me wrong Don, I'm not against the council tax itself...what I am against is being charged for work that isn't being done.
and then along comes Ann John with an Idea to charge people that wish to hand out Leaflets because she thinks it will help to deal with the litter problem caused by leafleting.
However I am not personally aware that there is a litter problem caused by people that hand out leaflets?
but I am very aware that drains are being left blocked and I don't hear anything from Miss John about how she plans to deal with it?

The Local Don. said...

Trevor, Brent Council has no individual agreement with you, or any other person in the borough. Brent Council can't breach an agreement if one isn't in place.

The Local Don.