No blogging for a bit… but there were a few bits from Monday’s full council meeting in need of telling.
* ABDUL Quadir has a different approach to the last Mayor of Camden when it comes to councillor behaviour at full council meetings. The constant bashing of the gavel has been replaced by a tink-tink of a pen against a glass of water. Very refined. Still, Abdul looks like he’s enjoying himself… although was his announcement of Lib Dem councillor John Bryant’s recent marriage some kind of in-joke not shared with me? This was his choice of words:
“It also gives me much pleasure to congratulate Councillor John Bryant on his recent marriage to Queen of Sheba or someone like that.”
* BIG claim of the evening came from Labour culture chief Councillor Tulip Siddiq – and look away now anybody who works in a council press office. While we all thought press officers at least helped with the writing of press releases about all the wonderful things the council does – what else do they do? – Tulip insisted: “Just to clarify, the press office don’t write the press releases. I do, actually. They don’t dictate what they say.” A Camden Council spokesperson said… no I didn’t ring up to check.
* STILL, Tulip – who started one of her speeches with ‘you may have seen me on the BBC and the Evening Standard’, ahem – was a hit with City University journo students watching in horror from the public gallery at what a full council meeting really looks like. One future reporter tweeted: “Siddiq is definitely the star so far.”
* THERE were several tributes to Moira Gibb, the outgoing chief executive as she sat through her last full council meeting. She will be replaced by a promotion for Mike Cooke. Good luck to him. Conservative leader Councillor Andrew Mennear delegated the message of thanks for Moira to colleague Don Williams. He’d been busy in Belgium during the day, apparently. Such a shame, the two were such great colleagues during Moira’s long stay at the Town Hall.
* BEST spar of the night came between Angela Mason and objectors to a new policy virtually banning new sex entertainment clubs and shops. There was some confusion over what goes on in gay and lesbian bars. Angela, 67, warned the descriptions did not match with “the ones I frequent”. Still got it.
* FINALLY, the idea was right: beam tasteful Poppy Day visuals onto the Town Hall. The Belgian Tourist Office’s efforts to mark Remembrance Day was a far better idea than how the technology could be used in tight times, such as adverts for fast food and so on. The council’s Judd Street HQ didn’t seem the ideal canvass, however, on Monday night. Too many windows in the way. Potential advertisers in the future might think again.