Saturday 24 May 2014

Barry Gardiner issues warning over scrutiny responsibilies following Labour landslide

As the dust settles after the election battle is is clear that Brent Labour's campaigning efforts, weeks of  hard work door-knocking and door-stepping have paid off,  along with the London trend.  Those of us who hoped that the electorate would give them a bloody nose over library closures, council tax summonses, dodgy consultations and collusion in Coalition cuts, will be disappointed.

The situation regarding the Corporate Manageent Team, which has been the subject of much comment on this blog will need to be dealt with swiftly.

The sweeping away of Liberal Democrats is the main story here in Brent but across the capital I think the refusal of Londoners to jump on the UKIP bandwago, however much it is talked up by the BBC, is extremely posiitve.

Meanwhile Barry Gardiner, MP for Brent North, has echoed some of the comments I made yesterday about the dangers of huge majoritty Labour won in Brent: (Kilburn Times website LINK)

I’m thrilled, of course I’m thrilled but we need to be very careful.

It is a huge responsibility because a majority this big for any party means that we have to look within ourselves for the sort of scrutiny that we need of the policies that we ourselves are proposing.

All of these people got elected because they managed to persuade voters they wanted to represent them in the civic centre on the council. They must remember their job is to represent the people to the bureaucratic (sic) of the council and not to represent the council bureaucrats to the people. 

We are here to be a critical voice to say where things are wrong and to set policy to change Brent for the better.
 I think such scrutiny will be helped by giving backbench Labour councillors freedom from the whip (elected Green councillors are not whipped as a matter of party policy) and revisiting decision making and scrutiny arrangements to enhance accountability.


Anonymous said...

Will just wait and see if this is hollow words.

However It does seem to suggest Barry Gardiner might be concerned from a national perspective that his vote next year might be hit hard, if Brent Labour start pushing through unpopular local decisions, without any public scrutiny and might bite him back in a years time !

A very good reason for full investigation into EmailGate and Copland / Davies deal to begin this new era of Brent Labour being called to scrutinize their own decisions.

Also remarks tends to suggest, despite a landslide victory for Brent Labour, there are divisions and this subtle call from Barry Gardiner to tame the bureaucrats could be a wake up call for senior management who have basically been let to run riot.

Anonymous said...

Re last para. That's how I read his remarks too. And unless he is totally unaware of what's been going on, this surely must be what is meant. In which case, possible signs of hope (and certainly no time to let sleeping dog-breeders lie).

Anonymous said...

I bet some in Labour are concerned about what has been going on, particularly in view of Butts power struggle in 2012, as these things breed different factions. From whispers the double act of Davani and Gilbert thrive on power struggles.

It is easy to forget but, Ed Balls would have been very close to Gilbert as he was secretary of state for children, schools and families 2007-2010 and bet with his power struggle with Gordon Brown at the time in 2008 for leadership of Labour is similar to Butts power struggle, although Butt won his.

Butt will probably be given some grace with such a victory, but better mind his back.

Anonymous said...

Or let lying dog-breeders sleep.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Martin's suggestion that back-bench Labour Councillors should not be told how to vote on issues going to Full Council. If the Labour Executive cannot convince a majority of Labour Councillors that what it is recommending is in the best interests of Brent's people, it has probably got it wrong (or been persuaded to get it wrong by Senior Officers pursuing their own agendas).

Philip Grant.