Banner
any day today rss facebook twitter

Bonkers Blog November 2012

Index: 2009201020112012201320142015201620172018

23 November (Part 3) - Teresa O’Neill. Democracy block

Council leader Teresa O'NeillWith only 15 minutes allowed for councillor’s questions at Bexley’s council meetings few are answered in public. This month’s meeting was no exception and a number of interesting questions went unheard. However the written answers have become available.

As stated at the time, councillor Stefano Borella (Labour: North End) was ‘Man of the Match’ at November’s council meeting. He had formally asked Teresa O’Neill…


“Could the Leader of the Council please tell us how many of her group she knows to be Freemasons?”


And her official reply was…


The declaration of Members’ Interests is a matter for the individual Member and the Monitoring Officer, and I am sure that all Members are capable of declaring relevant interests at the appropriate time.


This is in marked contrast to her response two years ago when she acknowledged that “Members of the Grand Charity must register membership in their register of members’ interests”. The current exclusion may arouse suspicions about Bexley police’s inability to bring their enquiries into Peter Craske to a conclusion.

Another of councillor Borella’s questions was…


“Why have a large number of Conservative councillors not disclosed their home address on the latest declaration of interest?”


Teresa O’Neill’s written response was as follows…


The declaration of Members’ Interests is a matter for the individual Member and the Monitoring Officer, and I am sure that all Members are capable of declaring relevant interests at the appropriate time.


It looks like a complaint to Mr. Akin Alabi, the Monitoring Officer, would be in order.

Councillor Alan Deadman (Labour: North End) did his best to bring democracy to Bexley too…


“Will the Leader of the Council agree with me that it is important that members of the public take an active part in scrutiny and are allowed to ask questions following debate at any scrutiny meeting?”


The democracy killer replied…


Our Standing Orders allow for the Overview and Scrutiny Chairmen to allow participation from non Committee Members at their discretion.


This almost never happens, only once in the last two years or so. Even the better Committee Chairmen like Alex Sawyer rejects such requests. If you happen to encounter an appalling one like councillor Alan Downing he will tell you to sit down and shut up even if the member of the public is only asking for compliance with the law by switching on the hearing loop.

 

Return to the top of this page