Lambeth Council Meeting, 4 December 2002
A motion to the Council was tabled by Councillor Jonathan Myerson (Labour, Clapham Town Ward) calling for the reinstatement of Brian Paddick in Lambeth (text here).
An amendment was tabled by Councillor Charles Anglin. (Liberal Democrat, Prince’s Ward), to delete Cllr Myerson’s motion and instead acknowledge the appointment to be an operational issue for the Commissioner, and pledging the Council to work closely with whoever is appointed to the permanent position (text here).
In the event, the guillotine fell at 10:00pm, before either the motion or the amendment were discussed or voted on.
Earlier in the meeting, however, a report was made from the Executive regarding a new Community Safety Strategy and in this context Cllr Myerson’s motion was referred to. Pretty much in line with the behavior of Councillors throughout the meeting, the report was yaboo-partisan, extolling the achievements of the new LibDem/Conservative administration and lambasting their predecessors.
In delivering the report, Councillor Andrew Sawdon (Liberal Democrat, Oval Ward) japed “Perhaps the Police Federation will pass a motion calling for the reinstatement of Tom Franklin as leader of the Labour Group”. Not to be outdone, Councillor John Whelan (Conservative, Thurlow Park Ward), wondered how the Council would feel if the local police commander proffered an opinion as to who should be appointed as Borough Chief Executive.
Both Councillor Sawdon and Councillor’ Whelan seem to treat very lightly the fact that they are elected representatives whilst local police commander and the Police Federation are not!
So there we have it.
A politically motivated newspaper spends £100,000 to bring about the removal of a senior policeman in a London borough;
The Commissioner obliges, in spite of undertakings to the contrary. These he dismisses, saying he wants to “talk about the future, not the past”
The elected Chair of the Metropolitan Police Authority says this is nothing to do with him, since its an operational matter;
The elected councillors in the borough say that it’s nothing to do with them either. For good measure, they throw in some schoolboy debating points just to show how secondary they regard their democratic function when measured against an opportunity for party political point scoring.
The turnout in the GLA elections (from which the MPA is largely drawn) was just over 30%
The turnout across Lambeth in the May elections was under 26%;
The turnout in Oval Ward was 24%
The turnout in Thurlow Park Ward was 29%