Last week’s Council meeting
was not all fun and games, back slapping and boozing, some of it was just a little more serious in nature.
Councillor Endy Ezenwata (Labour, Thamesmead East) was the first to speak. He proposed that his colleague Derry Begho (also Thamesmead East) should be Mayor. The proposal got him absolutely nowhere, even UKIP voted against Councillor Begho. Vote UKIP, get Tory.
The Conservatives had already chosen their preferred candidate and made sure the robes fitted her reasonably well.
The election of Eileen Pallen was inevitable and after a 20 minute break the new Chief Executive made the formal announcement. Exactly what she said was lost to my recording as she spoke softly and forgot about the microphone.
The Mayor then slipped into her new role by announcing to whom Leader Teresa O’Neill OBE (Overlording Best Employment) had appointed the highest paid jobs. Rob Leitch (Education), Linda Bailey (Regeneration), Peter Craske (Environment and Leisure), Don Massey (Finance), Philip Read (Children’s Services), Alex Sawyer (Traffic and Transport) and Brad Smith (Adults’ Services).
The proposed allocations to various Committees and Panels were all voted through without comment.
Similarly the final minutes of all the old Committees were signed off without comment.
Councillor Stefano Borella (Labour, North End) proposed amendments to the Council representatives to serve on outside bodies such as the Business Partnership, the various Town Forums and Cory Environmental. He wanted to see some Labour faces on those bodies but his suggestion went down like a lead balloon with both Leader O’Neill and her new Deputy No More Mr. Nice Guy Leitch. Of the 57 appointments, only one will be Labour, the same as last year.
The calendar of meetings was approved but Stefano Borella tried once again to have Councillor’s Allowances reduced. He really doesn’t get it that most Tories are on the Council for what they can get out of it, so his Motion stood no chance. Out it went quickly but not before Leader O’Neill spoke in favour of the status quo.
And with the wallets safely secured the new Mayor closed her first meeting.