The April Full Council meeting was the last of the civic year and as such the
Chairmen of the various Committees are required to provide a written
report on their year. They may or may not be challenged.
Many were this time around but like so many Council procedures it is generally a useless charade.
The first challenge was to the General Purposes Committee’s annual report. Councillor Danny Hackett said that references to employment practices were either missing, unclear or inaccurate.
Councillor Cafer Munir, the Chairman of the Committee, said none of that was true and criticised the lack of engagement by various unions. “Labour is trying to defend the poor showing of their paymasters”, a remark which earned him a rebuke from the Mayor.
The next complaint was against the Planning Committee’s report. Councillor Hackett asked what problems might arise from Bexley Council approving the Slade Green rail terminal and Dartford refusing it. The Deputy Chairman of the Planning Committee, Val Clark said they were two different issues and Councillor Hackett’s challenge was quickly dismissed. No one demurred.
The People Scrutiny Committee report was challenged by Councillor Brenda Langstead and her concerns were similarly dismissed.
And so it went on. With no sensible answers on offer I eyed up the Exit and decided it was too much of a temptation.
If I had stayed to the bitter end I might have learned something about the appointment of the new Assistant Chief Executive; why do we suddenly need one of those?
Miss Terry Osborne will join the Council on 22nd May and will replace Mr. Akin Alabi as Monitoring Officer. She comes from Redbridge Council via Waltham Forest and this time we are assured that she is a qualified solicitor - it makes a change but she has a bit of a record for political favourtism. An ideal choice for Bexley.
Also being hooked up to the Bexley gravy train, but not until the end of August, is Mr. Anjan Ghosh who becomes Director of Public Health. Mr. Ghosh comes from Merton Council.