No ‘wimping’ out

COUNCILLORS at Camden Town Hall have been given a full briefing over security arrangements for Monday night’s full council meeting when an unprecedented package of cuts to important services will looks set to be agreed. It’s bag searches, shutters down, that kind of thing…

Nobody wants a repeat of some of the more violent anti-cuts protests seen at other London local authorities in the last fortnight. Still, the military planning is a little a bit OTT for one of the longer serving politicians at Judd Street. Emails swapped between the Labour group locally show social services chief Councillor Pat bought the t-shirt Callaghan warning her colleagues they should not be seeking hiding places when the heckling begins.

She told the group in a message circulated this afternoon:

I sincerely understand concern re security. However if everyone is bag searched, what can they throw on us which would be so harmful? We have microphones which can rise over most noise and finally many of us have worked at council meetings with Ellen Luby (bless her heart) and still finished council business.

My point is are we wimps? (we wouldn’t be in the Labour Party if we were). Also I spoke at the Greater London Pensioners meeting in the chamber yesterday, and elders from other boroughs registered their disgust that other councils made their decisions in closed rooms. Can we try and preserve democracy in Camden on Monday evening, Peter speaks about his jacket which had paint thrown all over it (hope you are going to wear it on Monday) and he is still here to tell the tail. If at all possible let’s stay and agree our budget in public.

You tell ’em Pat. No. Wimping. Out.

5 Comments on No ‘wimping’ out

  1. Like all councils up and down the country cuts have been imposed by central government. It is entirely up to the locally elected council administrations to decide on how best to proportion out belt tightening measures.

    This is after all what every citizen of Great Britain does every month when balancing earnings against expenditure. Is it not reasonable that if “the people” have to make cuts not only to essential things as well as any luxury items and foods just to make ends meet every month.

    Unfortunately some folks get caught up in the easy use of that flexible friend the credit card, much like the Labour government under Gordon Brown did with the treasury of our country. But we know where that leads to, in the case of a government a fall from grace, and in the case of the individual the loss and repossession of homes.

    So against this backdrop, is it not reasonable that the Camden Labour administration accepts it’s responsibility to implement hopefully a fair and well thought out measures of cuts and that balances the financial books of the very affluent borough of Camden.

    I sincerely hope that the new Labour Cabinet fully embraces the challenges that face them in these very difficult financial times and uses a positive managerial command of pushing forward rather than just blame central government for for having fewer sweets in it’s sweetie bag this year. It must accept as all the people have already accepted and move on in a dignified and positive way to show by the quality of it’s analysis and fiscal management that Camden can become a shining beacon to other councils by way of example.

    If the cabinet feels the need of atonement about about dishing out the package of cuts to the residents of Camden they could always make the gesture to reduce their handsome allowances!

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  2. Cllr Maya de Souza // February 27, 2011 at 6:58 pm //

    As a Green Party Councillor, I have put forward our alternative plans in the local press explaining in detail the alternative that is available. http://camden.greenparty.org.uk/localsites/camden/news/An-alternative-budget-vision-for-Camden.html
    It was nice to see Labour take up our idea of a “People’s Fund” collecting money from better off residents, though my proposal was for a more radical opt-out system.

    But where is the Lib-dem – Tory effort to try and come up with something better than Labour? The Tory motion for this week’s meeting rather mystifyingly says “This Council does not believe that the Labour Cabinet has done everything possible to look for efficiency savings and so protect front line services from cuts and therefore calls on the Cabinet Member for Finance to resign”. I know Cllr Blackwell is not a favourite amongst the opposition but its still suprising to find nothing more concrete than that. No doubt we will see an alternative budget 30mins before the meeting starts tomorrow. It looks as if the Tories and Lib-dems are very cleverly keeping their powder dry until it is too late to have any influence!

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  3. Typical liberal democrat who can’t make his mind up. Oops, I mean Tory.

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