Hi jinks at a full meeting of Haringey Council. The tenants associations have turned out in force to object to Labour not having a ballot on the housing options for the future. According to the barracking from the gallery, they applied to be allowed to speak six weeks earlier, but Haringey Council did not let them – trying to force them to attend a meeting of the Council Executive (which is a committee made up of just Labour councillors) rather than the full council meeting.
They weren’t having this and shouted out their rage with Haringey (well understood by most of us Lib Dems) and the Mayor suspended the meeting. I suggested that we should suspend standing orders to allow them to speak for three minutes (which would have taken a lot less than the half hour plus disruption we ended up with) – but this was ignored. Indeed, the Labour Mayor just ignored Cllr Ron Aitken (the Lib Dem chief whip) who had his hand waving in the air forever.
There was also a deputation from parents whose children have been left without school places for the autumn due to Labour’s inability to plan or provide adequate local places. This is not just about the usual few who do not get into any of the local schools – we are talking about 80 or so children. They were worried that the suspension of the council meeting would mean that they don’t get to speak.
Eventually, the police come and remove the poor old council tenants who have been silenced by the usual abuse of power by the Labour administration. Nothing new there! The parents then got to make their deputation, presenting powerful arguments as to the need for local children to have places at local schools. We (LibDems) tabled a motion for that evening calling for the extra places to be provided for this ‘bulge’ year and a proper ten year plan. The plan should be based on the birth statistics, population movements in and out the key areas and the planned housing expansion in the borough.
It is usual to move such a motion which is related to a deputation to be taken directly after that deputation – as a matter of courtesy to those who came on the deputation if nothing else. But Labour refused. The parents were absolutely furious and Labour do themselves no favours by frustrating democracy at every turn.