Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tory antics at Merton Council cabinet

Monday night was the first meeting of the Tory minority administration cabinet in Merton. Although another commitment prevented me from attending, the antics has started already and they have only been in power for less then five weeks.

1) Why can't we delegate full council powers to cabinet? (Cllr Sam George-Deputy Leader)

Not a surprising comment given that they do not have a majority in Council. In cabinet it is 100% Tory. In many instances powers are prescribed in legislation to full council. Like to see them bring proposals to Council if they have any sense they will not pursue this further.

2) Why is Section 106 money (planning gain money) from Wimbledon ending up in Mitcham (Cllr Margaret Brierly - Cabinet member for Adult Social Care and Health.)

Part of the false propaganda put round that section 106 money from Tory Wimbledon all ends up in Labour Mitcham. This is very much a divided borough but is a line that the Tories push in Wimbledon. Where's the evidence Margaret?

3) Affordable housing targets too high (Cllr David Williams - Leader)

With the prices in Wimbledon so sky high you would think it was too low, read between the lines we do not want people who may need help on the housing ladder buying places in Merton (or more likely Wimbledon) as they may not vote tory.. Many people my age have trouble getting on the housing ladder given the shortage of affordable places, affordable housing is crucial in London given the very high price of housing and Merton especially Wimbledon is one of the most expensive places to buy in London.

4) Can we afford all these children centres after the two years government funding for the scheme? (Cllr Sam George - Deputy Leader)

Again as it was a Labour government initiative it was not too popular with some of their members though subsequently contradicted by Cllr Debbie Shears (Cabinet member for Children Services) who arrived late for the agenda item and stated “that it was good for Merton children and that if we do not get the funding we would have to find it from somewhere"

Out of interest the Cabinet Member for Schools Oonagh Moulton pleaded complete ignorance of the issue (obviously she has not been doing her homework and for someone in her position she should know about this issue, detention??)

Comment from Tariq Ahmad suggested that the 8 children centres in the most deprived areas of Merton was a Government ploy and asked why we should trust Gordon Brown? Reading between the lines we do not like resources being put into the most deprived part of Merton (i.e. Mitcham)

The policy was passed in silence after the Debbie Shears comment which probably shows their actual commitment to children centres.

5) Education targets too high and not achievable (Cllr Oonagh Moulton -Cabinet Member for Schools)

Expectations are obviously low for Merton school kids. Still it will no be a worrry for some Tory councillors as they have long since opted out of the state system.

6) Journey to excellence ie a non-achievable objective and should be scraped. (Cllr David Williams - Leader)

Getting their excuses in nice and early under them it will soon be "Journey to mediocrity." Merton was a dramatically improving Council under Labour, low expectations and reducing targets are now the aim of the game under the Tories!

7) The new regime will move the performance management targets down until they are achieved. (Cllr David Williams - Leader)

As above but it shows that lower expectations is the new way forward under Merton Tories. Many are speculating about how long David Williams will last as Tory leader before he is deposed and who will be his replacement, judging by the performance at the first cabinet the odds must be dropping by the day.

8) The Municipal Waste Strategy report is a triumph of the Tory administration and shows the benefit of joined up strategy (Cllr Tariq Ahmad - Environment and Tory A list candidate)

Yes it is Tariq and the report referred to the past few months when Labour was in control. It has not been on the back of your thinking that is for sure.

Tariq is the only known Tory A list Merton councillor (and the only ethnic Merton Tory councillor), all the other Merton political wannabe’s failed to get on it (according to a blog that had all the names). To give him his due, he is in another league compared to some of his colleagues, some of them would have difficulty making the Z list let alone the A list.

Politics at the moment is not boring at all in 30 all Merton (in the land of SW19 it is a very fitting description), we should be in for a fun few months ahead and expect more interesting quotes/gaffes from the Tories soon.

Hope to hear the Tory responses soon as I know some of them do read this blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

on the subject of affordable housing, I too could never afford to buy in the area I live, but I think the gaffe-prone Mr Williams (eg recycling boxes make Merton "look like a third world country")is perhaps referring to the fact that although new houses will reduce housing costs (and would be good in themselves if those houses were "affordable") you can't just increase Merton's population year-on-year without having an effect on other services

2:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tariq may be a member of the A-list, but Hammond's a member of the Cornerstone Group and Williams et al hardly strike me as Cameron's Conservatives . . .

4:33 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

David Williams is probably out of step with most of his councillors, he is certianly out of step with his party, being a europhile. He may survive as leadwer, given the alternatives are not up to much (apart from the ambitious Tariq Ahmad)

12:22 am  

Post a Comment

<< Home